Acute myocardial infarction is a pathology that belongs to the group of acute coronary syndromes. Although 5 types of infarction can currently be defined, the most common is produced by the sudden obstruction of a coronary artery due to the lesion of an atheromatous plaque (plaque accident). In this opportunity, Dr. Eduardo Gutiérrez, Cardiologist of the Plaza Lima Sur Medical Center of Clinica Ricardo Palma, offers us more information.
Who can suffer a heart attack?
Acute myocardial infarction used to be a pathology considered only in older people; however, the association of cardiovascular factors, such as arterial hypertension, diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia, obesity, sedentary lifestyle, smoking, among others, has led to more young people suffering from this and other cardiovascular events.
The diagnosis is made through the association of 3 components:
- Chest pain or angina pectoris
Oppressive-type pain in the chest, located behind the sternum. It can be felt in the inner face of the left arm, neck, jaw, lower dental arch, or, in some cases, in the pit of the stomach. In the case of chronic coronary syndrome, the pain appears or increases on exertion, and subsides with rest.
- Electrocardiogram EKG
A very important diagnostic tool that provides information about the heart rhythm. It allows us to suspect cavity growths and to diagnose current, recent, or old infarctions. If there is suspicion of infarction in a patient, it is important to obtain an electrocardiogram as soon as possible.
- Laboratory tests (cardiac enzymes)
Cardiac enzyme studies (troponin) are markers that are elevated in case of infarction and are a reflection that the heart cells have suffered damage.
- Cardiac catheterization
Procedure in which the obstruction of the artery is visualized. Using balloons and catheters, the obstruction is released and a stent (a device that keeps the artery permeable) is left in place. After the procedure, the patient must take oral medication for life.
Dr. Eduardo Gutiérrez
Cardiologist of the Plaza Lima Sur Medical Center of Clínica Ricardo Palma