Causes of heart attack, illustration

Causes of heart attack, illustration

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Credit: JEANETTE ENGQVIST/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Causes of heart attack. Computer illustration of a human heart, showing two common causes of damage to the coronary arteries (red), resulting in a heart attack (myocardial infarction). 1. Atherosclerotic plaque causing narrowing and blockage of the coronary artery. 2. Spontaneous tearing in the coronary artery wall. Both of these conditions result in an interruption in the blood supply to the heart muscle tissue (myocardium). This means the heart no longer receives oxygen and starts to die, causing a heart attack.

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