Mr. John Anderson, a 58-year-old male, presents to the emergency department complaining of severe chest discomfort.
He describes the pain as a crushing sensation in the center of his chest that radiates down his left arm and into his jaw.
The pain began approximately 30 minutes ago and has not improved with rest. Mr. Anderson also reports feeling nauseated and lightheaded.
Clinical Assessment: Upon arrival at the emergency department, Mr. Anderson is visibly diaphoretic and anxious. His vital signs are as follows:
- Blood Pressure: 160/95 mm Hg
- Heart Rate: 110 bpm
- Respiratory Rate: 22 breaths/min
- Oxygen Saturation: 95% on room air
- Temperature: 37°C (98.6°F)
Physical examination reveals cool and clammy skin, with no apparent peripheral edema or signs of heart failure. Auscultation of the chest reveals normal heart sounds with no murmurs, and bilateral clear breath sounds.
Electrocardiogram (ECG): An ECG is performed, showing significant ST-segment elevation in the precordial leads (V1-V6), indicating acute myocardial infarction (MI).
Cardiac Enzymes: Serial cardiac enzyme measurements reveal elevated levels of cardiac troponin I and creatine kinase-MB (CK-MB), consistent with myocardial injury.
Chest X-ray: The chest X-ray is unremarkable, ruling out pulmonary causes of chest pain.
Echocardiography: Echocardiography is performed, demonstrating regional wall motion abnormalities and reduced left ventricular ejection fraction, confirming the diagnosis of MI.
Immediate Reperfusion: Given the diagnosis of acute MI, Mr. Anderson is urgently taken to the cardiac catheterization lab for coronary angiography. A critical occlusion is identified in the left anterior descending (LAD) coronary artery.
Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI): An emergent PCI is performed, and a drug-eluting stent is successfully placed in the occluded LAD coronary artery, restoring blood flow.
Pharmacotherapy: Mr. Anderson receives antiplatelet agents, anticoagulants, nitroglycerin, and pain relief medications.
Cardiac Monitoring: Continuous cardiac monitoring and frequent ECGs are initiated to assess for arrhythmias and ST-segment changes.
Secondary Prevention: Upon stabilization, Mr. Anderson is educated about lifestyle modifications, including smoking cessation, dietary changes, and a cardiac rehabilitation program.
Follow-Up: Mr. Anderson’s condition stabilizes over the next few days, and he is discharged from the hospital with a comprehensive plan for cardiac rehabilitation and outpatient follow-up. He is also prescribed medications to manage his risk factors and prevent further cardiac events.
This clinical scenario illustrates the critical nature of myocardial ischemia, which, if not promptly addressed, can lead to irreversible myocardial injury and myocardial infarction. Rapid diagnosis and reperfusion therapy are essential in managing patients with acute coronary syndromes.
- “Cardiology: Principles and Practice” 📖 (Page 365)
- “Hurst’s The Heart” 📖 (Page 482)
- “Cardiovascular Physiology Concepts” 📖 (Page 213)
- “Clinical Cardiology Made Ridiculously Simple” 📖 (Page 147)
- “Cardiovascular Medicine” 📖 (Page 328)
- “Textbook of Interventional Cardiology” 📖 (Page 574)
- “Cardiac Nursing” 📖 (Page 265)
- “The ECG Made Easy” 📖 (Page 92)