Combining attentive, compassionate care with our extensive clinical and research resources, UT Southwestern's cardiology experts and vascular specialists deliver individualized care within pre-eminent health care facilities.
Heart Attack (Myocardial Infarction)
The specialized heart doctors at UT Southwestern Medical Center expertly diagnose and treat people who experience a heart attack.
Combining skill and experience with the newest science-based tools and techniques, our experienced team offers advanced treatments for this common and potentially life-threatening cardiovascular event.
Expert Care for a Serious Cardiovascular Event
A heart attack – also known as myocardial infarction (MI) – is a severe and potentially life-threatening cardiovascular event in which the muscular layer of the heart (myocardium) is deprived of blood and oxygen for an extended period of time.
UT Southwestern’s experienced heart doctors expertly diagnose and treat myocardial infarctions. Our team offers the most advanced, science-based treatments and technologies. We work closely with patients and their families to choose the most appropriate treatment to improve quality of life.
Heart Attack Causes
Causes of a heart attack include:
of fat and cholesterol (plaque) in the arteries that supply the heart with
- A blood
clot blocking a blood vessel in the heart
- A blood vessel spasm, commonly seen in people who use cocaine
Heart Attack Symptoms
Symptoms of a heart attack can include:
chest pressure or pain that lasts longer than 30 minutes and is not relieved by
that radiates to the jaw, shoulder, left arm, and neck
of breath (dyspnea)
- Sweating (diaphoresis)
Heart Attack Diagnosis
UT Southwestern cardiologists might perform several tests to diagnose a heart attack. Common diagnostic tests include:
enzyme studies: To show if heart muscle was destroyed
- Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG):
To look for time elevations or depressions at the end of the ventricles’
contractions (lower heart chambers) and evaluate the time of the recovery
- Physical exam: To check for low blood pressure, high heart rate, or a new mitral regurgitation murmur
Heart Attack Treatments
Our treatments for heart attack include:
therapy: Drugs such as beta blockers, ACE inhibitors, anticoagulants, or
therapy: To regulate the heart rate
medications: Drugs given within six hours of the onset of chest pain
or vasodilators: Drugs to treat heart failure
sulfate: Drug for pain relief and anxiety
- Nitroglycerin: Drug for pain relief
UT Southwestern’s cardiac rehabilitation specialists create customized plans that integrate proper nutrition, exercise, and, if necessary, nicotine cessation into patients’ lifestyles to improve their cardiovascular health.