Myocardial Infarction

Acute myocardial infarction (AMI), commonly known as a heart attack, is the necrosis –the degeneration of tissues due to cell death– of a part of the heart, caused by an interruption in blood flow (ischaemia). The most common cause is the obstruction of a coronary artery (the arteries that supply blood to the heart itself) by a blood clot formed by the rupture or erosion of an atherosclerotic plaque. In the absence of atherosclerosis, there are other, less frequent mechanisms that can cause this condition, such as strokes, dissection, and coronary artery spasms. The main factor determining the prognosis and initial course of treatment is whether the obstruction of blood flow to the heart is total and persistent or not. The former case is a medical emergency, since the entire myocardial area irrigated by the obstructed artery will die if the blood flow is not quickly restored. The latter, without total and persistent blockage, constitutes a less severe heart attack and treatment is not as urgent. The clinical presentation, in which the symptoms and initial signs can be characterised, and, most importantly, the electrocardiogram (ECG) results, help distinguish between these two scenarios. AMI is one of the leading causes of death worldwide, since it goes hand-in-hand with a high risk of serious complications, such as malignant arrhythmias, especially in the first few hours following the heart attack. It is also a common cause of long-term disability. Even with the considerable therapeutic advances of the past few decades, it is still a serious condition. A timely diagnosis and treatment initiation is essential in improving the prognosis.

Infart de miocardi
Authorship: Vall d'Hebron
Creation date: 17.12.2021, 10:03
Modification date: 01.02.2022, 12:58
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