DENNIS POTOKAR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DENNIS POTOKAR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Heart attack. Artwork representing a heart attack (myocardial infarction) showing a heart seen on a swirling pattern. Heart attacks are due to the sudden death, or necrosis, of part of the heart muscle. They commonly result from a blockage in one of the coronary arteries (seen on the surface of the heart) which provide the heart with its blood supply. The most frequent cause of blockage is atherosclerosis, in which fatty plaques of atheroma develop in the inner lining of the arteries restricting the blood flow. Heart attacks cause sudden pain in the centre of the chest. If there is severe enough damage to the heart muscle, heart failure or even death will result.
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