Difference between Cardiogenic and Hypovolemic Shock
Difference between Cardiogenic and Hypovolemic Shock

Difference between Cardiogenic and Hypovolemic Shock

Shock is a medical emergency which occurs due to reduced blood level reaching the peripheral tissues.  The cause may be cardiac in origin or non cardiac. Patient shows symptoms of low blood pressure, weak pulse, reduced urine and decreased consciousness.  It is a life threatening condition especially in adults who cannot compensate for low blood.  Its presentation may be sudden or gradual. Sometimes transfusion is required but sometimes simple fluids administration through intravenous route can be resuscitative.  In general, shock has four stages which include initial phase, progressive, compensatory phase and then refractory phase.  It is diagnosed clinically and treated according to the cause.

Cardiogenic shock

Cardiogenic shock occurs due to decreased output of blood from heart.  The most common cause is heart attack, with ventricular failure more dominant. Reduced blood supply to cells causes death of cells. The cause may be damage to heart muscles, valvular diseases and abnormal heart rate. Symptoms are those of a general shock and signs are cold skin with blue color showing cyanosis, added sounds are present with normal respiratory sounds at the base of chest. Heart auscultation also shows added sounds. Treatment of this type of shock depends upon the causative factor.

Hypovolemic shock

It is also a type of shock which occurs due to decreased fluid or blood volume in the body. The decrease in body flow may be due to excessive bleeding as a result of trauma or as a result of excessive fluid loss during vomiting or diarrhea. Treatment may be the drugs to increase heart rate or fluids to overcome deficiency of fluids in blood vessels.

Cardiogenic Vs Hypovolemic Shock


Cardiogenic shock occurs due to reduced pumping of blood by heart into the body.

Hypovolemic shock occurs due to excessive loss of fluid or blood from the body.


Cardiogenic shock shock is due to failure of ventricles, valvular defects or damage to cardiac muscles.

Hypovolemic shock is due to trauma, vomiting or diarrhea.

Heart rate:

In cardiogenic shock heart rate can either be increased or decreased.

In hypovolemic shock heart rate is always increased owing to the fact that body tries to compensate for the low fluid volume.

Jugular venous pressure:

In cardiogenic shock, jugular venous pressure in neck is high.

In hypovolemic shock, jugular venous pressure is low.

Preferred fluids:

In cardiogenic shock, fluids like ringer lactate are given.

In hypovolemic shock, inotropic agents are given.

Respiratory sounds:

In cardiogenic shock crackles can be heard at the base of lungs in case of heart failure.

In hypovolemic shock no crackles are present.


 Cardiogenic shock is treated through drugs affecting heart rate e.g. beta blocker if heart is beating rapidly or through adrenaline if heart is not beating.

Hypovolemic shock is treated through transfusion of blood or excessive vomiting.


There are four different types of shock. Two common varieties are cardiogenic and hypovolemic shock. The Above article shows a brief comparison between cardiogenic and hypovolemic shock with reference to their features and treatment.