Myocardial Ischemia vs Myocardial Infarction: Difference and Comparison

There are some terms related to heart diseases. Myocardial Ischemia and Myocardial Infarction are two such. Although they are not two separate conditions, they do differ in their level. They are fatal to the heart and are deadly if not treated or taken care of.

It is the condition where the coronary arteries get blocked due to blood clotting or several other possible reasons. Hence there is an insufficient blood supply due to which emergencies may arise.

It might further cause heart failure or heart attack, which is the ultimate stage.

Let us understand these two terms to know the conditions individually. It is vital to know the preventive measures and be safe.

Key Takeaways

  1. Myocardial ischemia is when the blood supply to the heart muscle is reduced, leading to chest pain or discomfort.
  2. Myocardial infarction is a more serious condition where the blood supply to the heart muscle is completely blocked, leading to heart attack and potential heart damage.
  3. Both conditions require prompt medical attention to prevent further damage to the heart muscle.

Myocardial Ischemia vs Myocardial Infarction

Myocardial ischemia is a medical condition that occurs when plaques build up in the human body, and it causes blockage of coronary arteries. Myocardial infarction is a type of medical issue that happens when a plaque in the human body ruptures and causes a worse medical condition, like a heart attack.

Myocardial Ischemia vs Myocardial Infarction
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Myocardial Ischemia weakens the strength of the blood to pump enough blood. It is an alarming condition and needs immediate attention. The arteries of the heart suffer a partial or complete blockage. It might lead to some abnormal heart rhythms.

This condition may develop slowly over time or can occur fast if there is a sudden artery blockage.

Myocardial Infarction is the ultimate stage of Myocardial Ischemia. Repeated episodes of Myocardial Ischemia might lead to a heart attack. A lot of patients, after a certain age, can not deal with such situations.

Treatments for such conditions include angioplasty or bypass surgery. It can cause irreparable damage to the heart muscles and weaken them.

Comparison Table

Parameters of DifferencesMyocardial IschemiaMyocardial Infarction
ConditionMyocardial Ischemia takes place when a build-up of plaques results in partial or complete blockage of the coronary arteries.Myocardial Infarction occurs when the plaque eventually ruptures, leading to even more dangerous conditions, such as heart attack.
SituationIt is the narrowing of heart arteries or deposition of fat on the walls.It is the complete blockage of the heart, giving rise to a sudden emergency.
SymptomsSymptoms include decreased tolerance of the body, chest pain, and problems in breathing.Symptoms include sudden chest pain, cold temperature, sweating, or vomiting.
DiagnosisIt is treated with properly prescribed anti-angina drugs.Treatment includes some serious surgeries like bypasses or angioplasty.
Cardiac attackAll cardiac attacks are not heart attacks.All heart attacks are cardiac attacks, and the conditions are critical. In many cases, it causes death.

What is Myocardial Ischemia?

Myocardial Ischemia is a condition that occurs when there is a reduced amount of blood flowing to our hearts. It, in turn, prevents the muscles in our hearts from receiving sufficient oxygen supply.

This condition occurs when there is a partial or even complete blockage in the coronary arteries.

It is also known as Cardiac Ischemia since it is related to the heart. Several reasons can cause Myocardial Ischemia. The most common is a coronary disease known as atherosclerosis.

Temporary tightening of the artery muscles for a short period might also lead to decreased blood flow.

In the early stages, it can cause arrhythmia. It is a life-threatening condition where an abnormal heart rhythm is diagnosed. Blockage of the coronary artery can cause severe heart damage, which is fatal.

It can cause a heart attack which damages the heart to a great level.

It is essential to stay safe from risk factors. Tobacco damages the walls of arteries, which further causes spasms. It increases the tendency of a blood clot which leads to blocked arteries.

Diabetic patients are also very prone to heart disease. Hence it is necessary to adopt and continue a healthy lifestyle.

What is Myocardial Infarction?

Myocardial Infarction is the last stage of Myocardial Ischemia. The condition leads to a heart attack. It damages the heart muscles in the worst possible way. It becomes a severe condition in the case of aged people.

They are not resistant or immune enough to handle such conditions. This can eventually lead to death.

It is more common in old people with diabetes and women. The immediate symptoms experienced include chest pain, a rapid heartbeat, pain in the left side of the body, sweating, or suffocation.

These are some of the alarming emergencies when patients need immediate medical help.

It is diagnosed in the emergency department since it is an emergency condition. The persons experience some acute and painful symptoms which need immediate relief.

In fact increases palpitation, sweating, and anxiety causing more harm to the patient.

An EKG is performed to check the characteristics of heart problems. It is checked if it matches with Myocardial Infarction. Based on that, further treatments are decided.

myocardial infarction

Main Differences Between Myocardial Ischemia and Myocardial Infarction

  1. The most distinct difference is that Myocardial Infarction is the buildup of plaques that results in partial or complete blockage of the coronary arteries. Myocardial infarction is when the plaque eventually ruptures, leading to even more dangerous conditions, such as heart attack. It is a much serious condition.
  2. Myocardial Ischemia might develop over a long duration of time with continuous chest pain, whereas Myocardial Infarction is an emergency condition with acute chest pain. It is diagnosed in the emergency department.
  3. All heart attacks are cardiac arrests, but all cardiac arrests are not heart attacks. That means any form of cardiac arrest does not imply that a person has reached the Myocardial Infarction stage.
  4. Myocardial Ischemia is possible to be treated with properly prescribed anti-angina drugs. Treatment for Myocardial Infarction includes some serious surgeries like bypass or angioplasty.
  5. Next are symptoms. Symptoms of Myocardial Ischemia include decreased tolerance of the body, chest pain, and problems in breathing. Symptoms of Myocardial Infarction include sudden chest pain, cold temperature, sweating, or vomiting.
Difference Between Myocardial Ischemia and Myocardial Infarction
References
  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0002914909007231
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0002914998006377

Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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