Heart Attack Pathology - How Many?

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How many heart attacks have you or a loved one had? Please share your experiences.

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Can a person have more than one heart attack?

Yes. Not uncommonly, people with coronary artery disease have more than one heart attack over the years. In fact, by looking at the heart tissue at autopsy, pathologists can tell when myocardial infarctions occurred. Thus, very recent (acute, hours old) infarctions may appear as a pale brown region, infarctions days old (subacute) appear yellow, and healed (weeks to years old) infarctions appear as white scars in the heart muscle. Figure 5 shows three myocardial infarctions of different ages in the muscle of a left ventricle.

Figure 5: Three Myocardial Infarctions of Different Ages; Slice Across Heart Ventricles

Picture of Different Stages of Myocardial Infarctions
Picture of Different Stages of Myocardial Infarctions
Return to Heart Attack Pathology: Photo Essay

See what others are saying

Comment from: VIC II, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: October 28

I had 4 heart attacks in 3 1/2 hours on Monday, January 26, 2004. I was told I had blockages of 70% in one artery, 80% in another and 90% in another. I was told that there was an artery behind the heart that they would not know about until the operation. Stents were not an option, I had to have the operation the next morning. I had a quadruple heart bypass. I saw my heart doctor who did my operation before I was released to go back to work 6 weeks after the operation. He said as the blood reached the affected parts of heart after the bypass, he said the color of those heart areas went from brown to red! I feel happy to be here almost 10 years after my operation to tell my story.

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