Medical Q&As

Myocardial ischaemia - explain?

Can you please tell me what acute myocardial ischaemia is? Is it a heart attack or heart disease?

The term myocardial ischaemia means that the heart muscle or myocardium has been deprived of oxygen. Myocardial infarction is the technical name for a heart attack. Myocardial ischaemia can occur as a result of increased demand for oxygen in the heart muscle, which is referred to as “demand ischaemia”. Chronic stable angina usually occurs as a result of demand ischaemia. Ischaemia can also occur because of a reduced oxygen supply, which is referred to as “supply ischaemia”. Heart attack typically occurs as a result of supply ischaemia where the coronary arteries are blocked by an obstruction such as a platelet plug or a thrombus, which is the technical term for a clot. Sometimes oxygen deprivation to the heart muscle can occur as result of a combination of demand and supply ischaemia.