Purpose of review Mechanical ventilation is frequently needed in patients with cardiogenic shock. The aim of this review is to summarize and discuss the current evidence and the pathophysiological mechanism that a clinician should consider while setting the ventilator. Recent findings Little attention has been placed specifically to ventilatory strategies in patients with cardiogenic shock undertaking mechanical ventilation. Lung failure in patients with cardiogenic shock is associated with worsening outcome as well as a delay in mechanical ventilation institution. The hemodynamic profile and cardiogenic shock cause, considering the preload dependency of the failing heart, must be defined to adjust ventilatory setting. Evidence is growing regarding the role of lung failure as adverse prognostic factor and beneficial effect of positive pressure ventilation as part of first-line treatment in patients with cardiogenic failure.
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