Heart failure-related cardiogenic shock (HF-CS) accounts for an increasing proportion of cases of CS in contemporary cardiac intensive care units. Whether the chronicity of HF identifies distinct clinical profiles of HF-CS is unknown.
We evaluated admissions to cardiac intensive care units for HF-CS in 28 centers using data from the Critical Care Cardiology Trials Network registry (2017-2020). HF-CS was defined as CS due to ventricular failure in the absence of acute myocardial infarction and was classified as de novo vs acute-on-chronic based on the absence or presence of a prior diagnosis of HF, respectively. Clinical features, resource use, and outcomes were compared among groups. Of 1405 admissions with HF-CS, 370 had de novo HF-CS (26.3%), and 1035 had acute-on-chronic HF-CS (73.7%). Patients with de novo HF-CS had a lower prevalence of hypertension, diabetes, coronary artery disease, atrial fibrillation, and chronic kidney disease (all P < 0.01). Median Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) scores were higher in those with de novo HF-CS (8; 25th-75th: 5-11) vs acute-on-chronic HF-CS (6; 25th-75th: 4-9, P < 0.01), as was the proportion of Society of Cardiovascular Angiography and Intervention (SCAI) shock stage E (46.1% vs 26.1%, P < 0.01). After adjustment for clinical covariates and preceding cardiac arrest, the risk of in-hospital mortality was higher in patients with de novo HF-CS than in those with acute-on-chronic HF-CS (adjusted hazard ratio 1.36, 95% confidence interval 1.05-1.75, P = 0.02).
Despite having fewer comorbidities, patients with de novo HF-CS had more severe shock presentations and worse in-hospital outcomes. Whether HF disease chronicity is associated with time-dependent compensatory adaptations, unique pathobiological features and responses to treatment in patients presenting with HF-CS warrants further investigation.

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