Cardiogenic shock is associated with substantial morbidity and mortality. Although inotropic support is a mainstay of medical therapy for cardiogenic shock, little evidence exists to guide the selection of inotropic agents in clinical practice.
We randomly assigned patients with cardiogenic shock to receive milrinone or dobutamine in a double-blind fashion. The primary outcome was a composite of in-hospital death from any cause, resuscitated cardiac arrest, receipt of a cardiac transplant or mechanical circulatory support, nonfatal myocardial infarction, transient ischemic attack or stroke diagnosed by a neurologist, or initiation of renal replacement therapy. Secondary outcomes included the individual components of the primary composite outcome.
A total of 192 participants (96 in each group) were enrolled. The treatment groups did not differ significantly with respect to the primary outcome; a primary outcome event occurred in 47 participants (49%) in the milrinone group and in 52 participants (54%) in the dobutamine group (relative risk, 0.90; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.69 to 1.19; P = 0.47). There were also no significant differences between the groups with respect to secondary outcomes, including in-hospital death (37% and 43% of the participants, respectively; relative risk, 0.85; 95% CI, 0.60 to 1.21), resuscitated cardiac arrest (7% and 9%; hazard ratio, 0.78; 95% CI, 0.29 to 2.07), receipt of mechanical circulatory support (12% and 15%; hazard ratio, 0.78; 95% CI, 0.36 to 1.71), or initiation of renal replacement therapy (22% and 17%; hazard ratio, 1.39; 95% CI, 0.73 to 2.67).
In patients with cardiogenic shock, no significant difference between milrinone and dobutamine was found with respect to the primary composite outcome or important secondary outcomes. (Funded by the Innovation Fund of the Alternative Funding Plan for the Academic Health Sciences Centres of Ontario; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT03207165.).

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