Heart Attack Pathology: Photo Essay (cont.)
Michael C. Fishbein, MD
Dr. Fishbein received his undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of Illinois. He completed a residency in anatomic and clinical pathology at Harbor General Hospital/UCLA Medical Center. He is board certified in anatomic and clinical pathology.
Leslie J. Schoenfield, MD, PhD
Dr. Schoenfield served as associate professor of medicine and consultant in gastroenterology on the faculty of the Mayo Clinic for seven years. He became a professor of medicine in residence at UCLA from 1972 to 1999 (now emeritus). He was the director of gastroenterology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles for 25 years, where he received the chief resident's teaching award, the president's award, and the pioneer of medicine award.
In this Article
- What is a Heart Attack?
- What are the structures and functions of a normal coronary artery?
- What happens to the coronary artery in atherosclerosis?
- Who gets coronary artery plaques and what happens to the plaques?
- What causes a Heart Attack?
- What happens to the heart muscle after a person survives a Heart Attack?
- Can a person have more than one Heart Attack?
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
Last Editorial Review: 3/5/2007
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