Cardiovascular Problems - Medical Services in Spain

After a heart attack, what exactly happens?

A research team at the Spanish National Cardiovascular Research Centre (CNIC) has demonstrated that after a heart attack, the heart reacts in a different manner to what was previously thought. With advanced image technology, it has been observed that the heart suffers two very different oedematous reactions which are also separate in time.

Up until now, we did know that after a heart attack, the heart registers an oedematous response (an increase in inflammatory cells and fluid) and it was taken for granted that this condition remained stable for at least a week, then slowly disappearing.

What these researchers have now discovered is that this acute inflammatory response disappears in less than 24 hours and, what is even more surprising is that four days after the heart attack, the vascular tissue suffers a further oedematous response that lasts for up to a maximum of one week after the actual attack.

The observation that there are two different responses, possibly from a different origin, brings about some important clinical implications that, in the near future, could change the treatment prescribed after a heart attack.

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