Myocardial Ischemia

Dr. Alrich L. Gray // Central Montana Heart & Vascular Institute

Myocardial Ischemia

Myocardial ischemia occurs when there is not sufficient blood flow to the heart’s muscles, making the heart pump less effectively. The most common cause of myocardial ischemia is narrowed or blocked coronary arteries, which are the arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle. Symptoms of myocardial ischemia include:

  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pain or discomfort in the upper body, especially the shoulder, arm, neck, or jaw
  • Sweating or "cold sweat"
  • Feeling full, indigestion, or a choking feeling (may feel like heartburn)
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Feeling light-headed, dizzy, very weak or anxious
  • Fast or irregular heartbeat

To treat your myocardial ischemia, your doctor may put you on medications including blood thinners, beta blockers, and medications that will treat high cholesterol or high blood pressure. The medications your doctor may prescribe may reduce the workload on your heart, widen your blood vessels, and reduce blood clotting. Your doctor may also perform an angioplasty – in this procedure, a stent is inserted to the narrowed part of your coronary artery. The stent, which is shaped like a hollow mesh tube, will widen the artery and keep it open, improving blood flow to your heart muscles.