Cardiogenic shock remains a frequently lethal complication of acute myocardial infarction. Early revascularization of the infarct-related artery by coronary angioplasty has been suggested to significantly improve patient survival. In-hospital and 1-year survival was assessed in 50 patients hospitalized for acute myocardial infarction complicated by cardiogenic shock. All patients received medical treatment and intraaortic balloon pump support. Thirty-three patients underwent coronary angioplasty (PTCA group), while 17 patients remained on conventional therapy (no PTCA group). The two groups were comparable for all baseline characteristics. Survival was significantly better in the PTCA group than in the no PTCA group: 64% versus 24% in-hospital survival (p = 0.007) and 52% versus 12% at 1 year (p = 0.006). When angioplasty was successful in achieving reperfusion, survival was further enhanced: in-hospital survival rate was 76% versus 25% in patients with unsuccessful angioplasty and 60% versus 25% at 1 year.