Myocardial infarction; MI; Acute MI; ST-elevation myocardial infarction; non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction
The pain can be severe or mild. It can feel like:
- A tight band around the chest
- Something heavy sitting on your chest
- Squeezing or heavy pressure
The pain usually lasts longer than 20 minutes. Rest and a medicine called nitroglycerin may not completely relieve the pain of a heart attack. Symptoms may also go away and come back.
Other symptoms of a heart attack include:
Anxiety Cough Fainting Light-headedness, dizziness
- Palpitations (feeling like your heart is beating too fast or irregularly)
Shortness of breath
Sweating, which may be extreme
Some people (the elderly, people with diabetes, and women) may have little or no chest pain. Or, they may experience unusual symptoms (shortness of breath, fatigue, weakness). A "silent heart attack" is a heart attack with no symptoms.
Signs and tests
A heart attack is a medical emergency. If you have symptoms of a heart attack, seek immediate medical help. Call 911 or your local emergency number immediately. DO NOT try to drive yourself to the hospital. DO NOT DELAY, because you are at greatest risk of sudden cardiac death in the early hours of a heart attack.
The health care provider will perform a physical exam and listen to your chest using a stethoscope. The doctor may hear abnormal sounds in your lungs (called crackles), a
You may have a
Tests to look at your heart include:
Coronary angiography CT scan Echocardiography
Electrocardiogram(ECG) -- once or repeated over several hours MRI Nuclear ventriculography
Blood tests can help show if you have heart tissue damage or a high risk for heart attack. These tests include:
- Troponin I and troponin T
CPKand CPK-MB Serum myoglobin
Review Date: 06/21/2010
Reviewed By: David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc., and Michael A. Chen, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, Harborview Medical Center, University of Washington Medical School, Seattle, Washington.