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  • silent heart attack

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    Old 07-15-2006, 02:11 PM   #1
    missree
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    silent heart attack

    how would you know if you had a silent heart attack? what kind of test would show that you had one and not know it?

     
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    Old 07-15-2006, 05:19 PM   #2
    Schroddfather
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    Re: silent heart attack

    I'll let the more technical peeps describe the exams, but a standard blood test for heart attack will show proteins from a recent heart attack. You get a blood test in the emergency room if you think you are having a heart attack.

     
    Old 07-15-2006, 05:54 PM   #3
    Fathersson
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    Re: silent heart attack

    Schroddfather - the problem with silent heart attacks is that, by definition, they have no symptoms (or such mild, temporary symptoms that the person never reacts to it). It's estimated that anywhere from 20-40% of MIs do not present symptoms, and hence go undiagnosed at the time they occur.

    missree - if you had a silent heart attack it could be later diagnosed by several means. It might leave a permanent abnormality in your ECG, or it might show as silent ischemia in a nuclear stress test.

    Unfortunately for women, it's beginning to look like a lot of female silent heart attacks are associated with micro-vascular disease. These can be almost impossible to detect, until a number of them have occurred and the cumulative damage shows up in an abnormal ECG or as ischemia in an imaging test.

    It also seems that silent heart attacks often occur as the final result of steady narrowing of an artery. The upside of that is that gives the heart time to grow collateral blood vessels to compensate for the blocked artery.

    When I had my MI (acute blockage in my proximal RCA), the stent angiogram showed a chronic total occlusiong of another artery (the proximal LAD). That blockage was heavily calcified and clearly old, perhaps even years old. I'd never felt a thing from it, because I had a very extensive network of collateral blood vessels feeding blood to the area blocked off by the old occlusion.

    Usually, though, you'll never know you had a silent heart attack, unless (or until) something else down the road sends you in for a cardiac evaluation of some sort.

    Last edited by Fathersson; 07-15-2006 at 05:58 PM.

     
    Old 07-16-2006, 04:41 AM   #4
    Lenin
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    Re: silent heart attack

    Usually they can even see it in an echogram becasue each heartbeat will show a certain "lopsidedness" indicating that part of the muscle has lost its function.
    Unfortunately an echogram depends on a trained eye to read it...you know how THAT goes.

     
    Old 07-16-2006, 10:27 AM   #5
    missree
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    Re: silent heart attack

    thanks for the input.
    I am going for blood work this week,and a fasting "Lipid Panel" was ordered thru the Clinic I go to.I was wondering if that blood work would show if in the past I had a silent heart attack, because of the results of the Chemical Stress test I recently had done.It was not explained to me in English the results which said "it revealed mild fixed perfusion defects in the anteroapical walls of the left ventricle,indicating mild anteroapical infarct without significant areas of ischemia". doesn't that mean I had a silent heart attack in the past with no heart damage?

     
    Old 07-16-2006, 12:02 PM   #6
    Fathersson
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    Re: silent heart attack

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by missree
    thanks for the input.
    I am going for blood work this week,and a fasting "Lipid Panel" was ordered thru the Clinic I go to.I was wondering if that blood work would show if in the past I had a silent heart attack, because of the results of the Chemical Stress test I recently had done.It was not explained to me in English the results which said "it revealed mild fixed perfusion defects in the anteroapical walls of the left ventricle,indicating mild anteroapical infarct without significant areas of ischemia". doesn't that mean I had a silent heart attack in the past with no heart damage?
    Yes, that sounds like a previous MI to me. One that, thankfully, did little to no damage (ie. the lack of any significant ischemia).

    I doubt the blood work will show anything. Any elevated CPK or troponin enzymes would have normalized quickly after a mild event.

    It's certainly something you want to followup with your doctor and cardiologist, since you want to control any risk of another event as much as you can.

     
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