Cardiology

Four-dimensional physiologically adaptive cardiac patch

Bioengineers have considerably advanced cardiac scaffold engineering techniques to treat myocardial infarction, a form of cardiovascular disease and the leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. However, it is still ...

Psychology & Psychiatry

Listening to music while driving reduces cardiac stress

Stress while driving is a risk factor for the development of cardiovascular disease and sudden cardiac complications such as heart attack (myocardial infarction), according to studies published in recent years. Selecting ...

Cardiology

Less inflammation = better healing

Myocardial infarction (MI), commonly called heart attack, remains a leading cause of mortality and morbidity worldwide, raising an urgent need for novel therapies.

Cardiology

Undetected diabetes linked to heart attack and gum disease

People with undetected glucose disorders run a higher risk of both myocardial infarction and periodontitis, according to a study published in the journal Diabetes Care by researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden. The ...

Medical research

Researchers create a new molecule to treat heart failure

A group of researchers based in Brazil and the United States have developed a molecule that halts the progression of heart failure and improves the heart's capacity to pump blood. Rats with heart failure were treated for ...

Cardiology

A sobering conclusion: Adult hearts contain no stem cells

A detailed cell-by-cell map of all dividing cells in the adult murine heart before and after myocardial infarction was created using advanced molecular and genetic technologies in a combined research effort led by Hans Clevers ...

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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.

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