Full review of an extensive heart infarction: causes, diagnosis, treatment

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From this article you will learn: what is the extensive myocardial infarction, how this heart disease manifests itself. What needs to be done for timely diagnostics, where it is necessary to treat the patient, on which the prognosis of recovery and life depends.

Contents of the article:

  • Heart damage in case of extensive infarction of
  • Symptoms of
  • Atypical variants of extensive infarction
  • Complications and consequences
  • Diagnosis
  • Basic medical measures
  • Forecast

Under the extensive myocardial infarction is meant a common expression, rather than a medical term. Doctors do not write so in the diagnosis and in medical circles do not say so. Use it to explain to patients and their relatives in cases where damage to the heart muscle affects very large areas.

Any infarction causes irreversible damage( necrosis, death) of a part of the cardiac muscle tissue. The cause of an extensive heart attack is thrombosis( a lumen overlapping blood clot or fat tissue) of a large arterial vessel carrying blood to the right or left ventricle of the heart.

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The main types of myocardial infarction, which belong to the extensive:

  • transmural( necrosis of the entire thickness of the muscular wall, which completely stops the reduction of this zone);
  • large-focal( necrosis of the wall with the preservation of the viability of small areas of the muscle) in several parts of the left ventricle( anterior, apical, lateral region);
  • circular( lesion of more than 2 branches or arteries with simultaneous disruption of the anterior and posterior walls of the heart).

The feature of these infarctions compared to others, in which the degree of lesion is smaller( a small area of ​​necrosis of muscle tissue), is that the danger of death and dangerous consequences for both health and life is much higher.

Diagnosis and treatment of extensive heart attacks are carried out by cardiologists, as well as specialists in emergency cardiology.

If a patient exhibits large necrotic damage to the heart muscle, complete recovery can not be achieved. Therefore, the sooner the diagnosis is established and the treatment is started, the less the necrosis zone in the myocardium and the more chances of at least partial restoration of the heart functions.

Heart damage with extensive infarctions

The amount of damage to the heart muscle depends on the following factors:

  1. the location of the thrombosed artery( right, anterior and posterior branches of the left artery);
  2. degree of vessel lumen reduction;
  3. the presence of additional small arteries, which will partially restore the blood flow when the main vessels are affected;
  4. of the previous diseases of the cardiac tissue( inflammation, sclerosis), in which the nutrition, metabolism is disturbed.

The area of ​​the dead muscle in a heart attack is also determined by the length of the period from the cessation of blood flow to the beginning of effective medical care.


The disease often develops in the morning, which is associated with increased vascular tone and a natural decrease in their lumen in the period from 3 to 5 am. If in healthy people this fluctuation does not affect well-being, then in patients with arterial diseases such a change can trigger the development of a cardiac catastrophe. The main symptom is pain.

Features of pain with extensive myocardial infarction:

  • very high intensity;
  • is accompanied by fear of death;
  • is felt in the area behind the sternum;
  • often gives in the scapula( more often - left), lower jaw, neck, shoulders;
  • does not decrease after repeated intake( under the tongue) of nitroglycerin tablets;
  • lasts, persisting or strengthening, more than 15-30 minutes.

Special first clinical signs that could indicate a common defeat of the cardiac muscle does not exist. But if the pain syndrome is sharply expressed, and against its background the cardiac activity is rapidly developing, then it can indirectly indicate the extent of the lesion.

Late symptoms( these conditions occur when the diagnosis is not made in time):

  1. development of acute heart failure;
  2. acute aneurysm( loss of elasticity of the muscular wall, its protrusion of the wall, inability to contract);
  3. heart rupture.

In addition to pain, patients have symptoms:

  • lowering blood pressure;
  • increased sweating with the appearance of cold sticky sweat;
  • pallor of the skin;
  • marked general weakness.

Atypical variants of extensive infarction

Approximately 20% of patients do not have a typical disease pattern, and signs appear that imitate damage to other organs. This group also includes a low-symptom variant, in which the main complaints( pain and dyspnea) are not strongly pronounced. These manifestations sometimes force the patient to take erroneous measures( unnecessary medications, tightening with a doctor's consultation), and also require sufficient qualification of medical personnel to deal with a specific situation.

Atypical variants Clinical symptoms
Asthmatic Sensation of shortness of breath( dyspnea)
Inability to carry out respiratory movements( asphyxia)
Forced position of the body when the patient sits with arms outstretched on a hard surface( orthopnea)
Heart palpitations
Chest pain absentor have a weak intensity
Gastralgic Pain in the upper abdominal region
Arrhythmic IrregularCardiac contractions
Sensation of periodic "fading" of the heart
Increased and rapid heart rate
Cerebrovascular Loss of consciousness
Nausea and vomiting

A mild symptomatic beginning can occur with severe damage to the vascular wall or nerve endings( angiopathies and neuropathies).This is most typical for severe diabetes mellitus.

Extensive heart infarction, unlike small focal( small areas of muscle necrosis) is not manifested by a non-painless form, which is characterized by the absence of unpleasant sensations in the chest. Complications and consequences of

Complications of extensive myocardial infarction differ slightly in the early( from the first hours to 10 days) and in the late period( from 2-3 weeks of the disease).

Early complications Late consequences
Acute heart failure, cardiogenic shock Inflammation of the pericardium, pulmonary membranes
Ventricular rupture between the ventricles or left ventricular wall Inflammation of the inner wall of the heart with the formation of blood clots( thromboendocarditis)
Thrombus formation,damage to the vessels of the head and neck Chronic heart failure
Inflammation of the outer shell of the heart( pericardium) Chronic aneurysm(progressive protrusion of the wall) of the left ventricle
Cardiac arrhythmias
Acute aneurysm( protrusion and thinning of the ventricular wall) with the threat of rupture

The consequences of an extensive heart attack, especially during the first hours of the disease, pose a great threat to the life of the patient. They are associated with the inability of the heart to pump blood, nourish internal organs and maintain blood pressure.

  • Insufficient anesthesia( morphine up to 3 mg intravenously), associated with sensitivity features or contraindications to drugs leads to an expansion of the area of ​​damage and the development of pain shock.
  • The protrusion of the heart( aneurysm) of the heart not only indicates the inability to contract a significant part of the myocardium, but also threaten to fill the heart bag with the blood in which the heart is located. This occurs when the aneurysm ruptures and is fraught with its arrest.
  • Rhythm disturbances can also have catastrophic consequences for the body as a whole.
  • The development of thrombotic complications disrupts nutrition of organs, can lead to the development of a stroke.
  • Complications in the period of scarring of damaged tissue( from 4 weeks to 6 months of onset of the disease) are not so associated with the risk of death, but worsen the patient's condition and quality of life. They are associated, as a rule, with chronic disorders of the heart, have specific symptoms of heart failure: dyspnea, swelling of the legs, cyanotic skin.

Without permanent treatment, these effects can progress in a fairly short time.


In the first hours of the disease, it is impossible to diagnose a myocardial infarction of an extensive degree, relying solely on symptoms, is impossible. The probability of widespread necrosis zones increases with the development of a repeated infarction, previous violations of patency of large cardiac arteries( atherosclerosis), heart diseases with worsening processes of nutrition and metabolism( IHD, angina).

  • The diagnosis of extensive myocardial infarction is confirmed by electrocardiographic( ECG) results showing the localization of the process( front wall, posterior, circumferential damage).
  • Also, the volume of necrosis can be determined by scintigraphy( cardiac examination with the help of radioactive substances).The presence of a necrotic area weighing more than 3 g indicates the presence of extensive lesions.
  • Laboratory methods are used to diagnose all types of heart attacks. Significant differences in the levels of elevated enzymes( troponins), blood counts( leukocytes and neutrophils) as an organism reaction to damage to the site of the heart muscle are not observed.
  • Ultrasound examination of the heart can reveal ventricular wall protrusion, its depletion, impaired cardiac muscle function. This method diagnoses the consequences of the disease.
Methods for diagnosing an extensive myocardial infarction

The main medical measures of

If within the first 6 hours a patient is administered drugs capable of completely dissolving the blood clot and restoring the permeability of the affected vessel, then a complete recovery is likely. The question of conducting such( thrombolytic) therapy is decided by the doctors on the basis of the patient's condition, the likelihood of the safe conduct of this treatment.

At home, with the increase of pain and other described symptoms of a large heart attack, it is necessary to take a nitroglycerin pill under the tongue( it is necessary to control blood pressure) and call an ambulance. Repeated receptions can be done in 2-3 minutes.

Extensive myocardial infarction is treated in stationary cardiological conditions, if necessary - in the intensive care unit.

After stabilization of the state, discharge from the hospital is carried out rehabilitation in local sanatoria. The main task: the maximum restoration of the contractile function of the heart.


The prognosis depends on the time of the beginning of treatment. Mortality from this disease reaches 30%, more than half - at the stage before hospitalization. Up to 20% of patients die within the first year after the development of a cardiac catastrophe. The main cause is heart failure.