Myocardial Infarction

Myocardial Infarction (MI), also known as heart attack is caused when blood supply decreases or completely stops to a portion of the myocardium (heart muscle). A heart attack may be silent and go unnoticed; or else it could be fatal resulting in hemodynamic deterioration and sudden death.

Without a blood supply, the oxygen supply to the heart is disrupted. Prolonged lack of oxygen results in heart muscle damage and they begin to die.

Types of myocardial infarction

There can be a complete or partial blockage of the coronary artery. There are three types of acute MI. They are as follows -

  • A complete blockage indicates an ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI).
  • A partial blockage indicates a non-ST elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI).
  • Coronary spasm or unstable angina

Myocardial Infarction (heart attack)

The heart attack symptoms can vary from one person to another.

They are as follows -

  • Chest pain or discomfort - A heart attack may involve chest discomfort in the centre or left side of the chest. It stays for several minutes before disappearing and reappearing. Squeezing, painful pressure, fullness, and discomfort are all common sensations. It may also feel like heartburn or indigestion.
  • Pain or discomfort in the jaw, neck or in one or both the arms, back, shoulders and upper part of the stomach.
  • Breathlessness - It may occur alone or before or during the chest discomfort. Shortness of breath can also happen during taking rest or doing some physical activity.
  • Weakness, light-headed, fainting or cold sweats.
  • Other symptoms include - vomiting, nausea, dizziness, lightheadedness and weakness.
Myocardial Infarction

Myocardial Infarction (heart attack) symptoms vary

Many people who have heart attacks exhibit different symptoms and the severity of symptoms also varies. Few people experience the mild type of pain; while others have more severe pain. Some people have no symptoms. However, when someone has more heart attack signs and symptoms, the possibility of myocardial infarction or heart attack also increases. In some cases, women might have different myocardial infarction symptoms than men. E.g They may feel more tired without much physical activity.

When to see a doctor?

It's important to seek medical help immediately. Many times people wait too long because they don't recognize the warning symptoms. You can follow these steps:

Get emergency medical assistance- If you suspect you're having a heart attack, don't panic.

Call your doctor or have someone drive you to a nearby medical care centre (hospital or clinic). If there's no one you can call someone who can provide you with instant help to reach the hospital.

Take nitroglycerin, only if it is prescribed to you by a doctor

Take aspirin only if it's prescribed to you by a doctor

Myocardial infarction Causes

Myocardial infarction causes include one or more blockages in the coronary arteries. Over a prolonged period of time, a buildup of fat and other deposits gets accumulated on the inner lining of the artery walls, called atheroma or plaques. This can narrow the walls of the arteries, known as atherosclerosis. This condition is called coronary artery disease, which causes a heart attack. When the plaques crack it results in a blood clot that can block the artery and cause a heart attack.

Myocardial infarction Risk factors

Heart attack risk factors are as follows -


Men above 45 years of age or older and women above 55 are more prone to have a heart attack than the younger population.


It involves smoking and long-term exposure to secondhand smoke.

High blood pressure

High blood pressure for a prolonged period of time can harm arteries and lead to an acute MI.

High blood cholesterol or triglyceride levels

High levels of blood cholesterol or triglyceride are a predisposing factor for myocardial infarction. Obesity. Obesity is associated with high blood pressure, diabetes, high blood cholesterol levels and high triglyceride levels. This can increase the risk of myocardial infarction or a heart attack.


It causes your body's blood sugar levels to rise, thus increasing the chances of a heart attack.

Metabolic syndrome

Metabolic syndrome is observed when a person has high blood sugar, high blood pressure and obesity. This syndrome increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Family history

Genetic factors are major predisposing factors for myocardial infarction.

Physical inactivity

Lack of exercise results in high blood cholesterol levels and obesity, thus leading to heart attack risks.


The way you respond to stress factors increases the risk of an acute MI. Illicit drug use - Drug addiction is one of the reasons for myocardial infarction.

Myocardial infarction Prevention

Here are the ways to prevent a myocardial infarction or a heart attack -

  • Medications - Taking medicines can minimize your risk of a subsequent myocardial infarction and improve your heart function.
  • Lifestyle factors - Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can definitely improve your heart health.
Myocardial Infarction Prevention

Myocardial infarction Diagnosis and Treatment

Myocardial infarction diagnosis consists Electrocardiogram (ECG), blood tests, chest x-ray, angiogram and cardiac CT or MRI to come to a correct heart diagnosis.

The diagnostic tests for a heart attack include

Electrocardiogram (ECG)

A myocardial infarction ECG measures the electrical activity of the heart. It's a simple test to detect heart health.

Blood tests

Specific heart proteins in the blood can help to diagnose heart problems.

Additional tests recommended include

Chest X-ray

A chest X-ray helps the doctor to check the heart size and its blood vessels and to monitor fluid in the lungs.


Ultrasound generates images of the moving heart. It helps to monitor heart function.

Coronary catheterization (angiogram)

A liquid dye is injected into the blood vessels to check for any arterial blockage.

Cardiac CT or MRI

These heart imaging tests are done to create images of the heart and chest and help to diagnose any heart problems.

Myocardial Infarction Treatment

Managing myocardial infarction at a hospital is very crucial. With every minute of damage to the heart muscle, the condition deteriorates and can be life-threatening.


Heart attack medications include-

  • Antiplatelet agents
  • Beta blockers
  • Beta blockers
  • Other blood-thinning medications
  • Pain relievers
  • Aspirin
  • Thrombolytics
  • Nitroglycerin
  • Statins

Surgical procedures

Coronary angioplasty and stenting -

  • This procedure is done to widen a narrow or blocked coronary artery by placing a stent.
  • Angioplasty is done, by guiding a long, thin tube (catheter) through a blood vessel in the arm, wrist, or groin to the blockage part in the heart.
  • A small, expandable tube called a stent is inserted into the artery to keep it open for a long time and help to restore blood flow to the heart.

Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) -

CABG involves bypass of the blocked or narrowed artery with a portion of a healthy blood vessel.

Cardiac Rehabilitation

Cardiac rehabilitation programs involve —

  • Lifestyle changes
  • Medications
  • Emotional factors
  • Slowly returning to normal activities

Cardiac patients should participate in this rehabilitation program. Patients who attend cardiac rehabilitation programs after an acute myocardial infarction generally stay healthy for a long period of time and are less likely to suffer another heart attack or heart attack complications.

Lifestyle and home remedies

Follow the below-given precautions to avoid any cardiac problems -

Avoid smoking

Stay away from smoking and second-hand smoke to improve your heart health.

Control blood pressure and cholesterol levels

By controlling BP and cholesterol levels, the strain on the heart and plaque accumulation can be prevented. These lifestyle changes can greatly help to avoid acute myocardial infarction.

Get regular medical checkups

Timely health check-ups can detect heart blockages and prevent heart attacks.


Regular physical activities help to improve heart muscle function. Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight puts pressure on your heart and can lead to high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes.

Eat a nutritious diet

Eat a healthy diet with less salt to avoid heart conditions.Control diabetes - Keep your blood sugar levels in check. Do regular exercises, take medications and proper diet to stay healthy.

Reduce stress

Participate in activities which can reduce your stress levels, such as yoga classes, sports, family time, etc.

Avoid or reduce alcohol

Limit your alcohol consumption or if possible avoid it to keep heart problems at bay.

Sex after a heart attack

There are concerns about having sex after a myocardial infarction (heart attack), but it is safe to return to sexual activity after recovery. Resuming your sex life will depend on your emotional level, physical comfort and previous sexual activity. Ask your healthcare provider when it's safe to have sex.

Myocardial infarction Dos and Don’ts

Heart care requires a lot of precautions and knowledge to take enough preventive measures. Things to do and things to avoid matter a lot during and after a heart attack.

Dos and Don’ts during a heart attack (myocardial infarction)

Do’s Don’ts
Call the doctor Ignore heart attack symptoms
Ask someone to take you to the hospital Wait for someone to arrive to take you to the hospital
Loosen tight clothing Wait to see if the symptoms disappear on their own
Chew and swallow an aspirin Take public transport to go to the hospital
Take prescribed nitroglycerin Kill time in getting ready for the hospital
Take deep breathings and stay calm Panic and get stressed

Dos and Don’ts after a heart attack

Do’s Don’ts
Be stress-free Stress trigger factors
Do basic exercises Smoke or consume alcohol
Regular health check-ups Skip your medications
Eat a healthy diet Eat junk foods and gain weight
Maintain healthy weight Engage in vigourous physical activities

Dos and Don’ts for heart attack prevention

Do’s Don’ts
Regular exercise Consume alcohol
Eat healthy diet Eat fatty foods
Control diabetes Follow sedentary lifestyle
Maintain healthy weight Use tobacco products
Regular medical checkups Take stress

We can lead a healthy lifestyle if we follow the do’s and don’ts of myocardial infarction (heart attack). They can give us some necessary precautionary coverage against myocardial infarction and related conditions.

Myocardial infarction Care at Medicover Hospitals

At Medicover Hospitals, we have the most trusted team of cardiologists and interventional cardiologists working together to provide excellent healthcare to our patients. Our dedicated cardiac team, including cardiologists, cardio surgeons, electrophysiologists, trained nurses and other paramedical staff, offer the best cardiac treatment for a range of cardiovascular problems. We use advanced medical technology for cardiovascular procedures and treatments for various heart disorders and ailments.

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