Search the Health Library
Get the facts on diseases, conditions, tests and procedures.
I Want To...
I Want To...
Find Research Faculty
Enter the last name, specialty or keyword for your search below.
School of Medicine
Conditions We Treat: Myocardial Infarction (Heart Attack)
A myocardial infarction (MI), commonly known as a heart attack, occurs when a portion of the heart is deprived of oxygen due to blockage of a coronary artery. Coronary arteries supply the heart muscle (myocardium) with oxygenated blood. Without oxygen, muscle cells served by the blocked artery begin to die (infarct).
Myocardial Infarction (Heart Attack): What You Need to Know
- The cause is often atherosclerosis, a buildup of fatty plaque and other material inside the artery. The plaque is covered by a lining of fibrous material. That lining can rupture, allowing the plaque to be released and a blood clot to form.
- Irreversible damage begins within 30 minutes of blockage.
- The goals of treatment are to preserve the heart muscle and to relieve pain, as the pain forces the heart to work harder.
- Treatments may include medications to improve blood flow and dissolve the clot and surgery to treat arteries narrowed by atherosclerosis.
Why choose Johns Hopkins Heart and Vascular Institute for treatment of myocardial infarction?
Our cardiologists and cardiac surgeons provide expert care and advanced therapies for heart attack patients.
After a heart attack, your heart needs to recover. Our Clinical Exercise Physiology and Cardiac Rehabilitation Center offers comprehensive programs to help you with a medically supervised, goal-oriented exercise program.
Our Specialty Centers
The Johns Hopkins Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease takes a multidisciplinary approach to helping you prevent heart disease and stroke—and that includes getting your cholesterol in check.