The pathophysiology of cardiogenic shock in infants and children is multifactorial and include noncardiac as well as cardiac etiologies, both congenital and acquired heart disease. The management of patients in cardiogenic shock requires a rational approach that is based upon the underlying pathophysiology. The diagnosis and management of cardiogenic shock, therefore, requires a thorough understanding of not only the underlying pathophysiology, but also the diagnostic modalities used in making the diagnosis. In the pediatric population, echocardiography plays a pivotal role in the diagnosis and management of infants and children presenting with cardiogenic shock. In this article, the pathophysiology of cardiogenic shock and the use of echocardiography in reaching a differential diagnosis are discussed. In addition, the management of cardiogenic shock is reviewed.
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