Heart attack

Almost everyone has come into contact with a heart attack (myocardial infarction). Be it as an affected person or as an acquaintance of a person affected by a heart attack. If our circulation engine lacks oxygen, it stutters or stops altogether. This happens not so rare: over 250, 000 people suffer a heart attack in Germany every year, about half of the cases are fatal.

Heart attack due to reduced oxygen supply

Like every other organ, the heart muscle needs oxygen for its activity. This is provided via the blood in the coronary vessels (coronary vessels). If these are narrowed, the muscle can no longer pump enough - resulting in reduced ability to exercise and heart pain (angina pectoris).

The heart attack is almost the maximum expression of the reduced oxygen supply: At one point, the blood supply is suddenly interrupted so far that the supplied muscle (myocardium) is not only limited in his work, but even gets too little oxygen and nutrients and dies - a heart attack, often with sometimes life-threatening consequences. If the patient survives the cardiac infarction, it scartens the infarcted tissue and remains functionless.

Forms of heart attack

Depending on which of the heart halves is affected by a heart attack, a distinction between the left heart attack and the Rechtsherzinfarkt. Depending on the affected area in a heart attack front and rear wall infarction. The right ventricle is rarely and then usually affected with the left ventricle in an infarct, which is related to the course of the three main coronary arteries.

If the necrosis ("death") affects all tissue layers in a heart attack, it is called a transmural infarction, only the inner layer is damaged, from a layer infarct.

Heart attack harbinger

Previously, prolonged anginal attacks (decrescendo-angina) were considered a harbinger of a heart attack. By now, we know that heart muscle can be destroyed as well. Therefore, this form is now also attributed to the infarcts.

In contrast to the classic infarct, however, the typical changes in the ECG do not show up here - an increase = elevation of the ST segment. Therefore, this form of infarction is also referred to as NSTEMI (non-ST segment elevation myocardial infarction), the classic infarction, however, as STEMI (ST segment elevation myocardial infarction). The generic term for both forms is the acute coronary syndrome.

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