Cardiogenic shock is a clinical syndrome which is defined as the presence of primary cardiac disorder that results in hypotension together with signs of organ hypoperfusion in the state of normovolaemia or hypervolaemia. It represents a complex life-threatening condition, characterized by a high mortality rate, that requires urgent diagnostic assessment as well as treatment; therefore, it is of paramount important to advocate for a thorough risk stratification. In fact, the early identification of patients that could benefit the most from more aggressive and invasive approaches could facilitate a more efficient resource allocation. This review attempts to critically analyse the current evidence on prognosis in cardiogenic shock, focusing in particular on clinical, laboratoristic and echocardiographic prognostic parameters. Furthermore, it focuses also on the available prognostic scores, highlighting the strengths and the possible pitfalls. Finally, it provides insights into future direction that could be followed in order to ameliorate risk stratification in this delicate subset of patients. © 2021. The Author(s).