What is Acute Myocardial Infarction?
Acute myocardial infarction or AMI is the medical name for a heart attack. A heart attack is a life-threatening condition that occurs when blood flow to the heart is abruptly cut off, causing tissue damage. This is usually the result of a blockage in the main arteries that supply the heart with blood, known as coronary arteries. A coronary angiogram is a special X-ray test used to find out if any coronary arteries are blocked or narrowed, helping doctors see if you need treatment such as angioplasty or stent. (Back to About OxAMI)
Early treatment for a heart attack can prevent or limit damage to the heart muscle (i.e. myocardium). Doctors start treatment promptly to restore blood flow through the blood vessels supplying the heart. A coronary angioplasty (also known as percutaneous coronary intervention or PCI) is a routine and widely used nonsurgical procedure that opens blocked or narrowed coronary arteries. The narrow section of the artery is opened up by inflating a small balloon inside the artery to allow blood flow more easily. A small piece of stainless-steel mesh (coronary stent) is usually placed inside the artery to make sure it stays open. PCI is carried out in the emergency or non-emergency setting depending on the type of heart attack. If you have an ECG that shows a particular pattern of heart attack called “ST elevation” (STEMI) this will require emergency or primary PCI procedure. Your doctor may also prescribe blood thinning medications.