The pathogenesis of cardiogenic shock (CS) has evolved from an acute event due to a large myocardial infarction to a semiacute event due to rapid hemodynamic deterioration on a background of preexisting left ventricular systolic dysfunction. Pre-CS refers to the period of rapid hemodynamic deterioration that precedes overt CS with hypotension, inflammatory response, and end-organ failure. Mortality remains extremely high in CS and has not improved over the past decades. Pre-CS offers a unique opportunity to initiate early treatment that may result in better clinical outcomes. The present review addresses the definition, recognition, and management of pre-CS with the pharmacologic or mechanical support of the failing left ventricle.