Acute myocardial infarction, or myocardial infarction, is more commonly known as a heart attack. Different treatment options to be considered include angioplasty and stent placement, thrombolytic therapy (clot-busting medication) alone or with other medications, and/or coronary artery by-pass surgery.
What is an Acute MI?
A heart attack occurs when the blood supply is interrupted to the heart which causes some of the cells die. The most common cause of the interruption is blockage, or occlusion, of a coronary artery following the dislodgement of plaque. Plaque is made of fatty acids (or lipids) and white blood cells which adhere to the sides of an artery. Plaque can either dislodge and block an artery or become thick enough to block the artery causing a heart attack. Symptoms can be severe or mild and include:
- The feeling of squeezing or heavy pressure on the chest
- Something sitting on the chest
- A tight band around the chest
- Sudden chest pain that radiates down the left arm or left side of neck
- Shortness of breath
- Nausea or vomiting
We at CVC encourage you to seek help immediately if you experience any symptoms. It should be noted that one-fourth of all myocardial infarctions occur without symptoms.
Be aware that there are multiple factors, including genetics and age, that make you vulnerable to experiencing a heart attack. So control the following factors as a preventive measure:
- Previous cardiovascular disease (such as angina, a previous heart attack or stroke)
- Tobacco smoking
- High cholesterol
- Low levels or high-density lipoprotein (“good cholesterol”)
- High blood pressure
- Chronic kidney disease
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Abuse of some recreational drugs, such as cocaine or methamphetamines
- Chronic high-stress levels
What to Expect
Your heart healthcare team at CVC will perform a thorough evaluation of your history and condition as they plan your treatment. Before your plan is developed, a number of tests and diagnostic studies may be performed. They may include:
- Coronary angiography
- CT Scan
- Electrocardiogram (ECG)
- Nuclear stress test
- Blood Tests such as:
- Troponin I and Troponin T
- Serum Myoglobin
- CPK and CPK-MB
Based on the results of your tests, your condition, and history, different treatment options may be considered. These options include angioplasty and stent placement, thrombolytic therapy (clot-busting medication) alone or with other medications, and/or coronary artery by-pass surgery.
You can be assured that your CVC team will advise you of the best options available to you and recommend a treatment plan that is right for you and your lifestyle.