Int J Angiol
DOI: 10.1055/s-0043-1764461
Case Report

Treatment of Cardiogenic Shock and Refractory Ventricular Fibrillation: Pulling Out All the Stops

Margaret Mary Glazier
1   University of Galway School of Medicine, Galway, Ireland
Amir Kaki
2   Division of Cardiology, St John University Hospital, Detroit, Michigan
3   Department of Medicine, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan
› Author Affiliations


We report the case of a 62-year-old woman who presented with an acute inferior wall myocardial infarction complicated by cardiogenic shock and refractory ventricular fibrillation. Following prolonged resuscitation in the emergency room, she was transferred to the cardiac catheterization laboratory where, as a first step, mechanical circulatory support with venoarterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) was established. Next, a right heart catheterization study was performed, followed by coronary angiography and angioplasty of the infarct-related artery. Promptly on transfer to the intensive care unit, a hypothermia protocol was initiated. By postprocedure day 1, the patient's ventricular fibrillation had resolved, mean arterial pressure was >65 mm Hg, and pulmonary artery diastolic pressure was 10 mm Hg. Echocardiography demonstrated complete recovery of left ventricular systolic function. Lactate levels had fallen from 11.0 mmol/L (pre-ECMO) to 1.2 mmol/L. The patient was successfully weaned off pressor and ECMO support within 24 hours of the percutaneous coronary intervention procedure. She was extubated on postprocedure day 2 and discharged home on day 6. At 26-month follow-up, she remains well, angina free, neurologically intact, and without evidence of heart failure. The treatment algorithm used in this case should be considered favorably in the management of patients presenting with acute myocardial infarction complicated by cardiogenic shock and refractory ventricular fibrillation.

Publication History

Article published online:
15 March 2023

© 2023. International College of Angiology. This article is published by Thieme.

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