Illustration depicting atherosclerosis in a coronary artery
Potential location of pain from a heart attack
Clogged artery
A blockage of coronary arteries can lead to a heart attack
Micrograph of a coronary artery with the most common form of coronary artery disease (atherosclerosis) and marked luminal narrowing. Masson's trichrome.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease is a common cause of chest pain in adults
Illustration depicting coronary artery disease
Coronary angiogram of a man
Coronary angiogram of a woman
Deaths due to ischaemic heart disease per million persons in 2012

A common symptom is chest pain or discomfort which may travel into the shoulder, arm, back, neck, or jaw.

- Coronary artery disease

In adults the most common causes of chest pain include: gastrointestinal (42%), coronary artery disease (31%), musculoskeletal (28%), pericarditis (4%) and pulmonary embolism (2%).

- Chest pain
Illustration depicting atherosclerosis in a coronary artery

4 related topics

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A myocardial infarction occurs when an atherosclerotic plaque slowly builds up in the inner lining of a coronary artery and then suddenly ruptures, causing catastrophic thrombus formation, totally occluding the artery and preventing blood flow downstream.

Myocardial infarction

A myocardial infarction (MI), commonly known as a heart attack, occurs when blood flow decreases or stops to the coronary artery of the heart, causing damage to the heart muscle.

A myocardial infarction (MI), commonly known as a heart attack, occurs when blood flow decreases or stops to the coronary artery of the heart, causing damage to the heart muscle.

A myocardial infarction occurs when an atherosclerotic plaque slowly builds up in the inner lining of a coronary artery and then suddenly ruptures, causing catastrophic thrombus formation, totally occluding the artery and preventing blood flow downstream.
Cross section showing anterior left ventricle wall infarction
Diagram showing the blood supply to the heart by the two major blood vessels, the left and right coronary arteries (labelled LCA and RCA). A myocardial infarction (2) has occurred with blockage of a branch of the left coronary artery (1).
A 12-lead ECG showing an inferior STEMI due to reduced perfusion through the right coronary artery. Elevation of the ST segment can be seen in leads II, III and aVF.
ECG : AMI with ST elevation in V2-4
Inserting a stent to widen the artery.

The most common symptom is chest pain or discomfort which may travel into the shoulder, arm, back, neck or jaw.

Most MIs occur due to coronary artery disease.

Heart

Muscular organ in most animals that pumps blood through the blood vessels of the circulatory system.

Muscular organ in most animals that pumps blood through the blood vessels of the circulatory system.

Human heart during an autopsy
Computer-generated animation of a beating human heart
The human heart is in the middle of the thorax, with its apex pointing to the left.
Heart being dissected showing right and left ventricles, from above
Frontal section showing papillary muscles attached to the tricuspid valve on the right and to the mitral valve on the left via chordae tendineae.
Layers of the heart wall, including visceral and parietal pericardium
The swirling pattern of myocardium helps the heart pump effectively
Arterial supply to the heart (red), with other areas labelled (blue).
Autonomic innervation of the heart
Development of the human heart during the first eight weeks (top) and the formation of the heart chambers (bottom). In this figure, the blue and red colors represent blood inflow and outflow (not venous and arterial blood). Initially, all venous blood flows from the tail/atria to the ventricles/head, a very different pattern from that of an adult.
Blood flow through the valves
The cardiac cycle as correlated to the ECG
The x-axis reflects time with a recording of the heart sounds. The y-axis represents pressure.
Transmission of a cardiac action potential through the heart's conduction system
Conduction system of the heart
The prepotential is due to a slow influx of sodium ions until the threshold is reached followed by a rapid depolarization and repolarization. The prepotential accounts for the membrane reaching threshold and initiates the spontaneous depolarization and contraction of the cell; there is no resting potential.
3D echocardiogram showing the mitral valve (right), tricuspid and mitral valves (top left) and aortic valve (top right).
The closure of the heart valves causes the heart sounds.
Cardiac cycle shown against ECG
Heart and its blood vessels, by Leonardo da Vinci, 15th century
Animated heart
Elize Ryd making a heart sign at a concert in 2018
The tube-like heart (green) of the mosquito Anopheles gambiae extends horizontally across the body, interlinked with the diamond-shaped wing muscles (also green) and surrounded by pericardial cells (red). Blue depicts cell nuclei.
Basic arthropod body structure – heart shown in red
The human heart viewed from the front
The human heart viewed from behind
The coronary circulation
The human heart viewed from the front and from behind
Frontal section of the human heart
An anatomical specimen of the heart
Heart illustration with circulatory system
Animated Heart 3d Model Rendered in Computer

Of these more than three-quarters are a result of coronary artery disease and stroke.

Cardiovascular diseases frequently do not have symptoms or may cause chest pain or shortness of breath.

Illustration depicting angina

Angina

Illustration depicting angina
Diagram of discomfort caused by coronary artery disease. Pressure, fullness, squeezing or pain in the center of the chest. Can also feel discomfort in the neck, jaw, shoulders, back or arms.

Angina, also known as angina pectoris, is chest pain or pressure, a symptom of coronary heart disease, usually due to insufficient blood flow to the heart muscle (myocardium).

Ventricular fibrillation (VF) showing disorganized electrical activity producing a spiked tracing on an electrocardiogram (ECG)

Arrhythmia

Too fast or too slow.

Too fast or too slow.

Ventricular fibrillation (VF) showing disorganized electrical activity producing a spiked tracing on an electrocardiogram (ECG)
Broad classification of arrhythmias according to region of heart required to sustain the rhythm
Normal sinus rhythm, with solid black arrows pointing to normal P waves representative of normal sinus node function, followed by a pause in sinus node activity (resulting in a transient loss of heartbeats). Note that the P wave that disrupts the pause (indicated by the dashed arrow) does not look like the previous (normal) P waves – this last P wave is arising from a different part of the atrium, representing an escape rhythm.

In more serious cases, there may be lightheadedness, passing out, shortness of breath or chest pain.

The most common cause of sudden death in the US is coronary artery disease specifically because of poor oxygenation of the heart muscle, that is myocardial ischemia or a heart attack Approximately 180,000 to 250,000 people die suddenly of this cause every year in the US.