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(Acute Myocardial Infarction [AMI]; Myocardial Infarction [MI]; ST-Segment-Elevation MI [STEMI]; Transmural Myocardial infarction)
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- Thickening of the walls of the arteries feeding the heart muscle (coronary arteries)
- Build up of fatty plaques in the coronary arteries
- Narrowing of the coronary arteries
- Spasm of the coronary arteries
- Development of a blood clot in the coronary arteries
- Embolism that affects the coronary arteries
Squeezing, heavy chest pain behind breastbone, especially with:
- Exercise or exertion
- Emotional stress
- Cold weather
- A large meal
- Usually comes on quickly
- 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
- Blood tests—To look for certain enzymes found in the blood within hours or days after a heart attack
- Urine tests—To look for certain substances found in the urine within hours or days after a heart attack
- Electrocardiogram (EKG)—to look for evidence of blockage or damage
- Echocardiogram —to examine the size, shape, function, and motion of the heart
- Stress test —Records the heart's electrical activity under increased physical stress, usually done days or weeks after the heart attack
- Pain-relieving medication
- Nitrate medications
- Other antiplatelet agents
- Beta-blockers and/or angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor medications
- Anti-anxiety medication
- Cholesterol-lowering medications such as statin drugs
Physical or Rehabilitative Therapy
- Maintain a healthy weight .
- Begin a safe exercise program . Follow your doctor's advice.
- If you smoke, talk to your doctor about ways to quit .
- Eat a healthy diet . Your diet should be low in saturated fat and rich in whole grains , fruits, and vegetables .
- Properly treat long-term conditions, like high blood pressure , diabetes, and high cholesterol .
- Manage stress .
Ask your doctor about taking a small, daily dose of
- Although most people are able to tolerate such a low dose of aspirin, even this small amount can rarely lead to serious bleeding, particularly from the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.
- Aspirin may not work as well when combined with other pain medications.
- Reviewer: Michael J. Fucci, DO, FACC
- Review Date: 09/2016
- Update Date: 09/29/2014