A myocardial infarction is commonly known as a heart attack. It occurs when there is an interruption of blood flow to the heart, usually due to blockages in the coronary arteries. This causes the cells of the heart to be injured due to decreased blood flow and oxygen supply. With time, portions of the heart muscle dies, and is eventually replaced with scar tissue.
People who have a myocardial infarction often report chest pressure or pain, arm or jaw pain, shortness of breath, nausea, palpitations, sweating, or indigestion. However, some people may have no symptoms at all. A blood test and EKG is used to diagnose a heart attack. Depending on the severity of the myocardial infarction and blockages, you may require a coronary angiogram. Some people will require more aggressive treatment to open the arteries of the heart, including placement of a stent or heart bypass surgery.