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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

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  • 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.

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Why choose Johns Hopkins Heart and Vascular Institute for treatment of myocardial infarction?

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Our Services

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.

Watch a video about cardiac rehab.

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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.

Learn more about the Ciccarone Center..