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(Acute Myocardial Infarction [AMI]; Myocardial Infarction [MI]; ST-Segment-Elevation MI [STEMI]; Transmural Myocardial infarction)
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- Narrowing of the coronary arteries due to:
- Thickening of the artery walls (common aging process)
- Build up of fatty plaques inside the arteries
- Spasm of the coronary arteries
- Development of a blood clot in the arteries
- Embolism—a blood clot that travels to the heart and blocks off smaller coronary arteries
- High blood pressure
- Sedentary lifestyle
- High blood cholesterol —specifically, high LDL cholesterol, and low HDL cholesterol
- High blood triglycerides
- Use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as naproxen or ibuprofen
- Family members with heart disease
- Using testosterone therapy
Squeezing, heavy chest pain behind breastbone, that usually comes on quickly especially with:
- Exercise or exertion
- Emotional stress
- Cold weather
- A large meal
- Pain in the left shoulder, left arm, or jaw
- Shortness of breath
- Sweating, clammy skin
- Loss of consciousness
- Anxiety, especially feeling a sense of doom or panic without apparent reason
- Stomach pain
- Back and shoulder pain
ECG—Records the electrical activity of the heart and can show if a heart attack has happened or may be happening. It can also help determine if the heart attack is:
- STEMI—Suggests total blockage of artery and more serious type of heart attack.
- NSTEMI—Suggests partial blockage of artery.
- Blood tests—Certain markers in the blood will appear or increase if a heart attack has occurred. These markers can also indicate how much damage was done to the heart muscle.
- Echocardiogram—An imaging test to examine the size, shape, function, and motion of the heart.
- Coronary angiography—A wire is passed through blood vessels to look for any blockages or damage to the coronary arteries.
- Aspirin and other antiplatelet agents—Will decrease clotting in the blood to help it flow smoother.
- Oxygen—Inhaling more oxygen will increase the amount of oxygen in the blood for the heart.
- Nitrate medications—Can help the blood vessels open up to allow better blood flow.
- Pain-relieving medication
- Beta-blockers and/or angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor medications—To decrease the workload on the heart.
- Anti-anxiety medication
- Cholesterol-lowering medications such as statin drugs—May play an important role in decreasing chance of another heart attack or stroke.
- Balloon angioplasty—A wire is passed through blood vessels and a device is used to open up the blocked artery. A stent may also be placed in the blood vessel to help keep it open.
- Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG)—An open surgery that uses a section of blood vessel from another part of the body to create a path around the blocked area.
- Maintaining a healthy weight .
- Beginning a safe exercise program . Follow your doctor's advice.
- Not smoking, or quitting smoking if you already started.
- Eating a healthful diet. Aim for a diet that is low in saturated fat and rich in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
- Properly managing long-term conditions, like high blood pressure , diabetes, and high cholesterol which can affect heart health.
- Developing relaxation techniques to help manage stress.
- Reviewer: EBSCO Medical Review BoardMichael J. Fucci, DO, FACC
- Review Date: 09/2017
- Update Date: 07/17/2017