Medical Definition of Myocardial infarction

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Myocardial infarction: A heart attack. Abbreviated MI.

The term "myocardial infarction" focuses on the myocardium (the heart muscle) and the changes that occur in it due to the sudden deprivation of circulating blood. The main change is necrosis (death) of myocardial tissue.

The word "infarction" comes from the Latin "infarcire" meaning "to plug up or cram." It refers to the clogging of the artery.

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Last Editorial Review: 1/24/2017

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