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Question DetailsAsked on 10/3/2012


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STEMI is an ST elevation myocardial infarction. The ST segment on your EKG is the line behind the pointy spike and the bump that follows.
This segment, normally on the baseline of the EKG, rises up, and can get very tall, in the event of a "myocardial infarction" or "heart attack." ("myocardial refers to "heart muscle" and "infarct" means death; thus, death of heart muscle, a "heart attack.") When a plaque in a heart vessel breaks down, ulcerates or ruptures, it attracts platelets and clotting factors that build up on it. The buildup gets so thick it squeezes off the flow of blood through the blood vessel on the surface of the heart. Since the EKG is basically an electrical signature of your heart, the rising ST segment is often called a "current of injury" by doctors.
An ST elevation myocardial infarction is much more serious than a non ST elevation heart attack; it general involves death and impending death of more heart muscle where the blood flow is cut off. Thus, the recommendations to treat it are thrombolysis, to dissolve the clot blocking the vessel rapidly, or PCI: basically, a heart cath to insert a tiny balloon that can be inflated in the area of vessel injury to push the blockage open. Many times these procedures are followed by CABG; coronary artery bypass grafting surgery.


Answered 7 years ago by mbandercoot

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