Cardiogenic shock has an unacceptably high mortality rate and additional tools are needed to improve outcomes. The Society of Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI) shock severity classification has provided a unified definition of shock severity that has proven to be reproducible and predictive of survival. However, cardiogenic shock assessment goes beyond standardizing its severity, and a uniform and practical approach to comprehensive assessment that may guide therapy in a dynamic state is currently lacking.

Since cardiogenic shock is a rapidly evolving pathophysiological catastrophe, we propose a new assessment tool – the Houston SHOCK Score – which incorporates dynamic changes. The acronym SHOCK can be used to emphasize five key aspects of patients in cardiogenic shock: Severity, Hemodynamics, Onset, Causes, and Kinetics. We believe this tool provides physicians with vital information that will facilitate appropriate care by incorporating dynamic changes in the patient’s profile.