South Edmonton Cardiology Consultants
#306, Millwoods Town Centre Prof Bldg (6203 28Ave NW), Edmonton AB T6L 6K3
PHONE : (780) 757-1371 FAX : (780) 784-1371
Disclaimer: The brief patient information supplied here and the outside links provided are not intended to replace the advice of your physician and are only meant to help guide patients to formulate questions during their physician appointments. Each patient's situation is unique and a large number of factors are considered when arriving at a management plan for your specific condition.
Acute Coronary Syndrome ("Heart Attack")
The heart is a muscle and it requires a regular supply of fresh blood to function. Coronary artery disease is present when the blood flow to the heart muscle is impaired due to narrowing in the blood vessels that bring blood to the heart (coronary arteries). These narrowings tend to develop slowly over time due to a localized buildup of cholesterol and scar tissue (atherosclerosis).
Sometimes, a blood clot can suddenly form in blood vessels affected by atherosclerosis and cause severe limitation in blood flow to an area of the heart. A portion of the heart muscle can die as a result and abnormally high levels of heart tissue proteins may be detectable in the bloodstream. This process is called a "heart attack" (or myocardial infarction). This may be perceived as a sudden chest pressure, tightness or discomfort and is often associated with sweating, shortness or breath or nausea/vomiting.
Many factors are associated with coronary artery disease and myocardial infarction, and many of these risks are modifiable, including hypertension (high blood pressure), abnormal blood cholesterol, diabetes mellitus, diet and lack of regular physical exercise.