Non-fatal myocardial infarction

What is Non-Fatal Myocardial Infarction (MI)?

Non-Fatal Myocardial Infarction (MI) is a type of heart attack that does not lead to the death of the patient. Although the patient has evidence of myocardial necrosis (cell death) due to a blocked coronary artery, there is no permanent damage to the heart muscle. This type of heart attack is also known as NSTEMI, or a Non-ST segment Elevation Myocardial Infarction.

Causes of Non-Fatal Myocardial Infarction

A Non-Fatal Myocardial Infarction is usually caused by an atherosclerotic plaque (a build-up of plaque in the arteries) that breaks apart and blocks the coronary artery, limiting the amount of oxygen-rich blood that can reach the heart. This blockage can be partial or total, although partial blockages are more common with Non-Fatal Myocardial Infarctions. The blockage can be caused by a spasm in the coronary artery, by a thrombus (blood clot) in the coronary artery, or by Elements of atherosclerosis.

Symptoms of Non-Fatal MI

The symptoms of a Non-Fatal Myocardial Infarction can range from mild to severe. Common symptoms include:

  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sweating
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Lightheadedness

Diagnosis & Treatment of Non-Fatal MI

A Non-Fatal Myocardial Infarction can be diagnosed with an ECG, or an electrocardiogram, which checks for abnormal electrical activity in the heart. This is usually done upon admission to the hospital. Other tests such as an echocardiogram, an X-ray, and a coronary angiography may also be used to diagnose a Non-Fatal MI.

Treatment for a Non-Fatal Myocardial Infarction often relies on a combination of lifestyle changes, medications, and medical procedures such as angioplasty or stenting. Lifestyle changes may include quitting smoking, increasing physical activity, eating a healthy diet, and reducing stress. Medications used to treat a Non-Fatal MI can include aspirin, blood thinners, ACE inhibitors, and cholesterol-lowering medications.