COVID-19 and Heart Disease (Part 6)
Myocardial infarction (heart attack)
In my last blogs, I explained that inflammation of the heart muscle (myocarditis) or the sac around the heart (pericarditis) can occur as a result of infection with SARS-Cov-2 .
However, the inflammation cascade that occurs with the virus can increase clotting and what is called as plaque rupture. This can lead to closure of the blood vessels supplying the heart ( coronary arteries) and subsequent heart attack. The treatment of the myocardial infarction is initiation of aspirin, other blood thinners such as clopidogrel (plavix), heparin and others. In addition statins have shown to reduce the inflammation and are highly beneficial. It is important to get to the hospital within the first 6 hours of symptom onset . As cardiologists’ motto goes: “Time is myocardium”. The sooner the patient arrives to the hospital, the sooner the patient goes to the Cardiac catheterization lab, the faster the artery is opened. All efforts are tailored towards reducing the amount of damage to the heart muscle.
It is imperative that patients with hypertension , hyperlipidemia, diabetes. Controlled risk factors reduce risk of myocardial infarction whether COVID induced or night.
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