Heart Attack, Myocardial Infarction (AMI)

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A heart attack occurs when blood flow to a part of your heart is blocked for a long enough time that part of the heart muscle is damaged or dies. The medical term for this is myocardial infarction. Most heart attacks are caused by a blood clot that blocks one of the coronary arteries. The coronary arteries bring blood and oxygen to the heart. If the blood flow is blocked, the heart is starved of oxygen and heart cells die. A hard substance called plaque can build up in the walls of your coronary arteries. This plaque is made up of cholesterol and other cells. Approximately one quarter of all heart attacks are silent, without chest pain or new symptoms. Silent heart attacks are especially common among patients with diabetes mellitus. A heart attack may occur when: Blood platelets stick to tears in the plaque and form a blood clot that blocks blood from flowing to the heart. This is the most common cause of heart attacks; A slow buildup of this plaque may almost block one of your coronary arteries. Patients suffering a heart attack are hospitalized for several days to detect heart rhythm disturbances, shortness of breath, and chest pain. Further heart attacks can be prevented by aspirin, beta blockers, ACE inhibitors, discontinuing smoking, weight reduction, exercise, good control of blood pressure and diabetes, following a low cholesterol and low saturated fat diet that is high in omega-3-fatty acids, taking multivitamins with an increased amount of folic acid, decreasing LDL cholesterol, and increasing HDL cholesterol.

Symptoms:

Laboratory Test Procedures:

chest pain
pain
fullness
shortness of breath
pain in arms, neck, jaw, shoulder or back accompanying chest pain
tooth pain
headache
nausea
vomiting
abdominal pain
general epigastric discomfort
sweating
heartburn
indigestion
left arm pain
malaise
no symptoms

Protime/INR
PTT
Creatine Kinase
Troponin
LDH Lactate dehydrogenase
Hemoglobin
Hematocrit
RBC
Platelet Count
Creatinine
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