Pre-infarction: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

It can be defined as a disturbance in the correct functioning of the myocardium, causing severe pain in the chest due to insufficient blood supply.

These are recurrent angina events when the patient is at rest or with minimal effort.

It may be the beginning of an ischemic heart disease, or it may be an abrupt deterioration of a previous and stable anginal syndrome.

Pre-infarction is also commonly called unstable angina and / or intermediate chest pain syndrome.


The pre-infarct syndrome is caused by the thickening of the wall of a coronary artery that supplies the heart.

This can not send enough oxygenated blood to the heart muscle to compensate for the need for oxygen, leading to ischemia.

Other factors associated with pre-infarction are

Emotional disorders: Some emotional  imbalances can trigger a pre-infarction.

In this scenario, the patient may experience anxiety or fear with a variable intensity that could initiate an intense pain in the chest.

Lifestyle:  The lifestyle of the patient may favor the development of a myocardial disease.

These are:

  • Obesity or excessive weight.
  • The type of food consumed in the daily diet as the intake of heavy meals high in fat and carbohydrates.
  • Smoking
  • The level of physical activity or a sedentary level of life.
  • High levels of blood pressure and cholesterol can trigger a pre-infarct.

Extreme temperatures:  The heart only tolerates small thermal variations, factors such as high temperatures cause an increase in blood circulation to dissipate heat, accelerating blood circulation and therefore the heart rate.


Pain and discomfort : Before the occurrence of a pre-infarct, people may feel pain or discomfort in the chest area.

The pain manifests as a pressure in the chest with pain towards the right side of the sternum and towards the arms, in other occasions the pain is located in the area of ​​the heart.

But the pain can also spread to other parts of the body such as: jaw, shoulders, neck and back.

These alarm signals range from uncomfortable seconds and may persist for several minutes or more.

Sensation of anguish:  Usually the patient experiences severe anxiety, feeling of suffocation, with cold sweat, agitation, excessive heart palpitations, may also experience fear of death.

Breathing disorders  Respiratory disorders may precede a pre-infarction, breathing is brief, spasmodic, without the result of any physical effort.

This sensation is of short duration and then the pain is experienced again. In the course of this pathology may occur the appearance of dyspnea , cyanosis .

In the cerebrovascular form of a pre-infarct state, symptoms such as fainting, dizziness and nausea are possible.

Unwarranted fatigue can be caused by a rise in blood pressure, which is determined by the malfunction of the heart.

The heart should exert more than normal and the amount of blood and oxygen becomes insufficient, when this happens the patient will present symptoms of fatigue.

Sleep disorders:  For many patients, one of the symptoms is the difficulty in falling asleep and although sleep is not sleepy, insomnia is caused by anxiety.

This symptom may occur long before the onset of any other symptom.

Indigestion:  In the case of the occurrence of a pre-infarction, there is a sensation of acidity, hiccups, flatulence and possibly indigestion, especially if it is recurrent, it should be considered as a warning signal.


Pre-infarction diagnosis is made with the help of an electrocardiogram.

This will indicate graphically that there is a blockage in the patient’s heart muscle, as well as a decompensation in the circulation and the appearance of a paroxysmal tachycardia and extrasystole.

There is a characteristic of this type of affection linked to sex.

In the male gender, pre-infarcts usually occur after 30 years of age and are usually due to the onset of coronary artery disease.

In women, the pre-infarct usually presents at an older age.


A pre-infarction is a clear sign that the heart is not functioning normally.

Any condition that causes a pre-infarct can lead to a serious risk.

Therefore, the timely recognition of symptoms and an adequate diagnosis are very important for the patient and requires the prescription of a treatment to treat the condition in time.

In the case of a pre-infarction, treatment focuses on preventing the development of a myocardial infarction.

The treatment is aimed at eliminating the pre-infarction and this implies:

  • Prescribe the bed rest of the patient, reducing the workload of the heart and its energy needs.
  • Prescribe vasodilators, which control blood pressure, relaxing blood vessels and improving the passage of blood.
  • Recommend a drastic change in the daily diet, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish and avoid all kinds of fatty foods.
  • Practice moderate physical exercise, such as walking, cycling, to increase blood flow.