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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


Refractory Cardiogenic Shock from Right Ventricular Infarction Successfully Managed with Inhaled Epoprostenol

Unusual clinical course, Unusual or unexpected effect of treatment, Unexpected drug reaction , Educational Purpose (only if useful for a systematic review or synthesis)

Natalie Held, Nathaniel Little, Mori J. Krantz, Brian L. Stauffer

USA School of Medicine, University of Colorado, Aurora, CO, USA

Am J Case Rep 2017; 18:271-275

DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.901975

Available online:

Published: 2017-03-16


BACKGROUND: Recognition and appropriate management of right ventricular (RV) infarction is essential, as RV injury increases mortality and substantially alters management during acute coronary syndrome. We report a case of RV infarction presenting with new right bundle branch block (RBBB), and therapeutic use of inhaled epoprostenol to reduce RV afterload and augment cardiac output during refractory cardiogenic shock.
CASE REPORT: A 53-year-old male presented to our institution in ventricular fibrillation with subsequent development of RBBB in the setting of proximal right coronary artery occlusion. Following percutaneous coronary intervention, the patient developed severe RV dysfunction with refractory cardiogenic shock. This was successfully managed with inhaled epoprostenol with normalization of right ventricular systolic function.
CONCLUSIONS: Although typically associated with anterior myocardial infarction, new RBBB should be recognized as a potential presenting sign of acute RV infarction. The use of inhaled epoprostenol in the setting of RV infarction has not been previously described, but it may augment right ventricular cardiac output via pulmonary vasodilatation.

Keywords: Bundle-Branch Block, Epoprostenol, Inferior Wall Myocardial Infarction, Shock, Cardiogenic