Angina vs Myocardial Infarction

Angina pectoris and Acute Myocardial Infarction are different forms of the same set of cardiovascular diseases known as Ischemic Heart Disease.

The heart is the muscle that pumps blood rich in oxygen and nutrients to the rest of the organs and tissues. To contract and function properly, the heart muscle (myocardium) must also continuously receive oxygen and nutrients, which are provided by the coronary arteries, which arise from the aorta and, like a system of pipes, carry blood to the myocardium.

When for some reason, not enough blood reaches a part of the myocardium, ischemia occurs, which is defined as a state of suffering of the cells that make up the myocardium due to a lack of oxygen and nutrients in the affected part.

When the state of ischemia is transitory and death of cardiac cells does not occur, causing chest pain anyway, it is called angina pectoris. However, if the ischemia is prolonged, it can lead to irreversible death of cardiac cells, a situation that is defined as infarction. Therefore, myocardial infarction is defined as the death of cardiac cells caused by a state of prolonged ischemia, that is when blood and sufficient nutrients do not reach the myocardium for a certain period.

The main cause of angina and myocardial infarction is the obstruction of one or more coronary arteries. As has been said before, the coronary arteries are like pipes and if waste products or dirt accumulate inside them, a narrowing and a blockage occurs that does not allow enough blood to pass through to a part of the heart muscle. In the case of the arteries, this is caused mainly by deposits of cholesterol, in addition to other waste products (lipids, calcium, and inflammatory cells), in the walls of the vessels, a deposit that is usually progressive, although it can be accelerated in presence of classic cardiovascular risk factors such as tobacco, cholesterol, diabetes, and hypertension.

Here below we have mentioned some differences between Angina and Myocardial Infarction, Let’s see!

Angina vs Myocardial Infarction

Angina vs Myocardial Infarction

AnginaMyocardial infarction
Angina is also known as angina pectoris.Also known as Heart Attack
Myocardial condition alive even when exposed to ischemia.Some myocardium is dead
A condition in which blood does not flow easily due to stenosis of the coronary arteries.A state in which the coronary arteries are completely blocked by a blood clot
It occurs when the work of the heart (demand) and coronary blood flow (supply) are out of balance (in the case of exertion).May develop suddenly regardless of the amount of work done by the heart
Symptoms such as Short-term chest pain: Squeezed, dull pain that can be suppressed (several tens of seconds to 10 minutes)Unbearable pain with cold sweats, nausea, and fear (more than 20 minutes)
It can HealDoes not heal
In Angina blood pressure increases.Their blood pressure is decent.
Symptoms subside when the causative exertion is stopped or sublingual nitrate tablets are used.Symptoms do not subside with the use of nitrate sublingual tablets
Angina is usually caused by the arteries supplying blood to the heart muscles become narrowed by a build-up of fatty substancesThis is usually caused by a blockage in the arteries that supply blood to your heart.

What is Angina Pectoris?

  • Angina pectoris is a  coronary artery disease that causes chest pain and tightness. 
  • It originates due to the blockage of a coronary artery, whose function is to supply blood, oxygen, and nutrients to the heart. 
  • This blockage prevents the correct circulation of oxygenated blood to the heart muscle.
  • This situation of lack of oxygen supply to the heart is called “ischemia”  
  •  “ischemic heart disease” is used to describe all these types of circulatory disorders that affect the heart and that are a consequence of stenosis (narrowing) in the coronary arteries. Angina pectoris is one of them.
  • It affects both men and women.
  • Angina usually occurs because less blood is getting to the heart. 
  • The main cause of this situation is atherosclerosis, which appears when the coronary arteries narrow due to the accumulation of atherosclerotic plaques (fat deposits) on the walls of the blood vessels.
  • The symptoms of angina pectoris are the same as those of myocardial infarction (heart attack) but of different intensity and duration. 
  • These most common symptoms are Chest pain: which can spread to the shoulders, arms, neck, jaw, or back, burning in the chest, Chest pressure, Wanting to vomit, Difficulty in breathing, Loss of consciousness, etc.
  • Chest pain or burning is one of the common symptoms of angina pectoris.
  • These symptoms usually appear when exercising and disappear when at rest (except in the case of unstable angina pectoris, as we have mentioned).

What is Myocardial Infarction?

  • Myocardial infarction, also known as a heart attack, refers to the blockage of the coronary arteries leading to the myocardium, preventing blood from being sent to the myocardium, resulting in myocardial hypoxia and damage or sudden death.
  • The typical symptoms of myocardial infarction are chest pain and cold sweats, but each person may have different symptoms. 
  • Typical chest pain will transfer from the center or left side of the chest to the chin and right upper arm, but some patients have atypical chest pain symptoms. 
  • The following are common symptoms of myocardial infarction: Dizziness, feeling sick and vomiting, stomach ache, Difficulty in breathing, shortness of breath, sweating, tiredness, abnormal anxiety, cough, wheezing, etc.
  • It is important to note that myocardial infarction does not always occur suddenly as in a drama or movie. 
  • The causes of myocardial infarction can be roughly divided into the following three categories: Coronary heart disease (CHD for short), drug abuse, and hypoxia. 
  • At the moment of acute myocardial infarction, to give the patient immediate treatment as soon as possible, the doctor may use the electrocardiogram to analyze the changes in the heartbeat wave pattern to determine how to diagnose and treat.
  • In acute myocardial infarction, angina pectoris can be relieved by the use of aspirin, which is usually given in an ambulance, as directed by paramedics.
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