Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up
part of heart dead?
avatar
Tiagir posted:
A friend's fiancee just recently found out that the back part of his heart is "dead". What is this called and does anyone have any ideas on how this will continue to effect him? Thanks.
Reply
 
avatar
James_Beckerman_MD responded:
When someone has a heart attack, heart muscle cells die - depending on the extent of damage, this will affect people in different ways.
 
avatar
CardiostarUSA1 responded:
Hi Tiagir: b "What is this called" Typically a posterior (back wall) heart attack. Akinesis (no movement, "deadsville"). b "Any ideas on how this will continue to affect him" As applicable, what happens after a heart attack (and down the road) mainly depends on what specific area(s) of the heart muscle (myocardium) were damaged (infarcted), size and depth of the damage, and if there has been any previous damage. Some individuals do not survive their first heart attack, and more often, not the second one. Good to know, if/when a Q wave (as seen on an electrocardiogram, ECG/EKG) develops after a heart attack or MI (myocardial infarction), it is called a Q wave MI, usually corresponding to a transmural MI, affecting the entire/full thickness of the heart muscle, the worst type (has a substantially higher mortality rate). If/when a Q wave does not develop after an MI, it is called a non-Q wave MI, usually corresponding to non-transmural or a subendocardial MI, less damaging than a Q wave MI, as the heart muscle just under the sensitive inner lining of the heart is affected (lower mortality rate, though this type of incomplete MI poses a high risk for reinfarction, or completing the infarction). Cell/tissue death does not occur immediately (once the artery is 100% blocked, with no, or insufficient coronary artery collateral circulation). It takes several minutes to start the injury process, which then continues on (evolves, in phases) for several hours, unless the artery is opened up. restoring blood flow. Prompt treatment can limit the damage, but the damage that has been already done is permanent/irreversible (though some ongoing clinical trials are showing promise for making heart damage reversible). After a completed heart attack, the body heals the heart damage caused by it by forming scar tissue. This healing process is usually complete in 4-8 weeks. CardioStar☆ WebMD community member (8/99) - - b ☑Be well-informed WebMD More than 1 million Americans have heart attacks each year. b What Happens During a Heart Attack? www.webmd.com/heart-disease/heart-disease-heart-attacks eHealthMD b Heart Attack www.ehealthmd.com/library/heartattack/HA_whatis.html - i Quote "We can stop a heart attack during the process, but you have to get to the hospital first, the real push for improved survival is to get them there early." - Catherine Ryan, research assistant professor of medical surgical nursing, University of Illinois (at Chicago) Medical Center - About com b How to Survive a Heart Attack - The First 24 Hours heartdisease.about.com/cs/heartattacks/a/MIearly.htm b Surviving a Heart Attack - After the First Day heartdisease.about.com/cs/heartattacks/a/MIlate.htm HeartSite b Coronary artery anatomy ☞Starting with the left anterior descending (LAD), the most critical coronary artery, next to the ultra-critical left main (LM). www.heartsite.com/html/lad.html - b Good to know, for the primary/secondary prevention of heart attack/brain attack Epidemiologic studies have revealed risk factors for atherosclerosis (typically affects coronary, carotid, peripheral arteries), which includes age, gender, genetics (gene deletion, malfunction, mutation), diabetes (considered as being the highest risk factor), smoking (includes secondhand), inactivity, obesity (a global epidemic, "globesity", high blood pressure (hypertension), diet high in fat, saturated fat and cholesterol, high LDL, high Lp(a), high ApoB, high Lp-PLA2, high triglycerides, LOW HDL (less than 40 mg/dL, an HDL level of 60/65 mg/dL or more is considered protective against coronary artery disease), high homocysteine, and high C-reactive protein (CRP/hs-CRP). . b ☛WebMD/WebMD message boards does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
 
avatar
OldCoach1942 responded:
Just a layperson here - but I also had a "back part" heart attack resulting in muscle death, so I thought I would add my perspective. The cardiologist who did the angioplasty advised me as follows: The heart is a wonderful muscle and you can live with even 40% of it dead, so it has a lot of reserve. I had lost 5% of the muscle, a relatively minor heart attack, which means I had lost about 12% of my reserve capacity for the heart. Not a good thing. (Basically, in my case I delayed too long to get to the ER). I have had 6 stents implanted since then at various times, but I am fully active, golf, power walking, hiking moderate trails in the state parks, etc., and I take my meds and follow the doctor's orders rather religiously. I think the question is about how much of the muscle was lost in percentages - if it is low as mine was, his activity should not be limited, assuming he follows the advice of trained medical folks who know his situation. Good Luck To Him


Featuring Experts

James Beckerman, MD, FACC, is a cardiologist at the Providence St. Vincent Heart Clinic in Portland, OR. He graduated summa cum laude from Harvard Col...More

Helpful Tips

Mediterranean DietGuest Expert
The Mediterranean diet has long been recognized as a booster of heart health. It is linked to lower risks of heart disease, stroke, ... More
Was this Helpful?
10 of 11 found this helpful

Expert Blog

The Heart Beat - James Beckerman, MD, FACC

Dr. James Beckerman shares how small, livable lifestyle changes can have a real impact on your risk of heart attack and stroke...Read More

Related News

There was an error with this newsfeed

Related Drug Reviews

  • Drug Name User Reviews

Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

For more information, visit the Duke Health General and Consultative Heart Care Center