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Difference Between NSTEMI and STEMI

 NSTEMI vs STEMI

Many people’s diet nowadays includes a great number of trans-fats which come from the fast food chains industry. This results in one of the unhealthiest scenarios that you could think of, especially if you look at things from a cardiologic perspective. This state of affairs is made even worse because of the lack of activity of many people. This results in fat clogging the heart’s arteries and, in the end, causing a heart attack. Myocardial infarctions are basically ischemic areas in the heart when one of the major arteries is blocked. Decreased perfusion can be reflected with chemical markers within a set time and can also be read by an ECG.

One of the most effective ways to determine if there has been a heart attack is by an ECG. An ECG traces the impulses of the heart, from the P to the T segment of the heartbeat. An abnormality in the PQRST will determine which portion is not conducting electricity or which part of the heart isn’t moving at all! One of the common features of a heart attack is when chemical markers such as troponin and CPK are elevated, marking necrosis in the heart.

Both the so-called NSTEMI and STEMI are are heart attacks. In essence, this means that an artery is blocked and so the heart cannot pump. Although this is the main feature of both diseases, they differ significantly in terms of how an ECG interprets them.

An ECG is used in order to show how myocardial infarctions and even angina pectoris differ from each other, and this is also true in comparing and contrasting NSTEMI and STEMI. Firstly, NSTEMI happens when part of the heart’s artery is occluded by a clot. With an ischemic portion, the ECG will register an elevated Q-wave while the ST segment is acutely depressed. This is the reason why NSTEMI stands for ‘non-ST segment elevation myocardial infarction’.

STEMI myocardial infarction is the worst scenario you could think of.  Unlike in NSTEMI, when partially blocked arteries are found within the heart, what happens in STEMI is when a part of the heart dies off because of a totally clogged artery. In an ECG, this would be indicated by an elevated ST segment. It is possible to confuse the ST segment elevation with angina pectoris, but, unlike an episode  angina pectoris, nitroglycerine will not afford any relief!

1. NSTEMI and STEMI are two different types of myocardial infarctions.
2. NSTEMI and STEMI can be both be traced by chemical markers to determine whether it is angina pectoris or a myocardial infarction.
3. NSTEMI has a depressed ST segment while STEMI has an elevated ST segment that is not relieved by nitroglycerine.
4. NSTEMI is a partially blocked artery while STEMI happens when the whole artery is blocked causing a part of the heart to die off.  


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