Heart Attack

Microparticles fight inflammation post-heart attack

After a heart attack, much of the damage to the heart muscle is caused by inflammatory cells that rush to the scene of the oxygen-starved tissue. But that inflammatory damage is slashed in half when microparticles ...

Jan 15, 2014
popularity 4.9 / 5 (12) | comments 0 | with audio podcast

Will your mouthwash kill you?

Once in a while, I come across a news story that catches my professional eye. On a lazy Sunday morning I was treated to a news story that got my full attention because it contained some rather shocking headlines.

Jan 28, 2014
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Immune cells may heal an injured heart

The immune system plays an important role in the heart's response to injury. But until recently, confusing data made it difficult to distinguish the immune factors that encourage the heart to heal following ...

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popularity 5 / 5 (7) | comments 0 | with audio podcast

Understanding heart failure at the cellular level

A team of researchers at the University of Florence in Italy and the University of Connecticut Health Center have used a multidisciplinary approach to provide an unprecedented glimpse of what happens to the ...

Feb 18, 2014
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Heart attack research discovers new treatment target

Research led by David Lefer, PhD, Professor and Director of the Cardiovascular Center of Excellence at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans School of Medicine, demonstrates for the first time cross-talk between two protective ...

Feb 10, 2014
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Myocardial infarction (MI) or acute myocardial infarction (AMI), commonly known as a heart attack, results from the interruption of blood supply to a part of the heart, causing heart cells to die. This is most commonly due to occlusion (blockage) of a coronary artery following the rupture of a vulnerable atherosclerotic plaque, which is an unstable collection of lipids (cholesterol and fatty acids) and white blood cells (especially macrophages) in the wall of an artery. The resulting ischemia (restriction in blood supply) and ensuing oxygen shortage, if left untreated for a sufficient period of time, can cause damage or death (infarction) of heart muscle tissue (myocardium).

Classical symptoms of acute myocardial infarction include sudden chest pain (typically radiating to the left arm or left side of the neck), shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, palpitations, sweating, and anxiety (often described as a sense of impending doom). Women may experience fewer typical symptoms than men, most commonly shortness of breath, weakness, a feeling of indigestion, and fatigue. Approximately one-quarter of all myocardial infarctions are "silent", that is without chest pain or other symptoms.

Among the diagnostic tests available to detect heart muscle damage are an electrocardiogram (ECG), echocardiography, cardiac MRI and various blood tests. The most often used blood markers are the creatine kinase-MB (CK-MB) fraction and the troponin levels. Immediate treatment for suspected acute myocardial infarction includes oxygen, aspirin, and sublingual nitroglycerin.

Most cases of STEMI (ST elevation MI) are treated with thrombolysis or percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). NSTEMI (non-ST elevation MI) should be managed with medication, although PCI is often performed during hospital admission. In people who have multiple blockages and who are relatively stable, or in a few emergency cases, bypass surgery may be an option, especially in diabetics.

Heart attacks are the leading cause of death for both men and women worldwide. Important risk factors are previous cardiovascular disease, older age, tobacco smoking, high blood levels of certain lipids (triglycerides, low-density lipoprotein) and low levels of high density lipoprotein (HDL), diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, chronic kidney disease, heart failure, excessive alcohol consumption, the abuse of certain drugs (such as cocaine and methamphetamine), and chronic high stress levels.

This text uses material from Wikipedia licensed under CC BY-SA

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