Difference Between Ischemia and Infarction

Main Difference

Ischemia and Infarction are the heart diseases which are caused due to the reduced blood flow to the heart muscle. Often both these conditions are taken as same, but they aren’t as myocardial ischemia is a mild nature heart’s condition, whereas the myocardial infarction is the chronic type of heart trouble which can even lead to the death of the patient in minutes. The Ischemia is the medical condition where the blood supply gets reduced to the heart muscle, and it leads to the issues like angina pectoris (severe pain in the chest spreading to the shoulders). The myocardial infarction is the worst type of ischemia, where the death of heart muscle takes place due to the continuous inadequate supply of blood to the heart muscles.

Comparison Chart

IschemiaInfarction
SymptomsAngina Pectoris (Chest pain leading to shoulders).Fatigue, Excessive sweating and palpitations.
DiagnosedECG & Angiography.Levels of Cardiac Biomarkers & ECG.
SeveritySevere pain in chest.Can even lead to death.

What is Ischemia?

The myocardial ischemia is the heart disease due to the inadequate blood supply to the heart muscle. This inadequacy leads to the issues like angina pectoris, which are not much serious if treated at initial level properly. The major cause of the reduced blood supply to the heart muscle is the Coronary Artery Disease (CAD). The decreased blood supply makes the heart muscles less effective, which leads to the chest pain or the pain in the left arm. This chest pain in the scientific terms is recognized as angina pectoris, in which the patient underwent through the severe pain to the parts mentioned above, without actually knowing the cause of the pain. As mentioned above CAD is the most common cause of the disease; in this, the narrowing of the arteries takes place, which results in less blood supply to the heart muscle. At the same time, arteries losses their elasticity which leads to a more crucial condition of the blood supply to the heart muscle. All the narrowing and elasticity loss takes place due to the fat deposition on the walls of arteries. This fat deposition is the cholesterol aggregation, which is termed as atherosclerosis in the scientific language. The cholesterol aggregation can even make a clot that will lead to the blockage of blood flow. This blockage condition not treated immediately can even lead to the myocardial infarction. Other than fat deposition, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, lack of exercise, and chewing tobacco are few of the prominent factors which cause ischemia.

What is Infarction?

The myocardial infarction is the chronic type of heart disease, it is quite similar to the ischemia regarding the causes, but it is quite severe in terms of consequences. In other words, we can say that ischemia which is left untreated turns out to be infarction, or we can say that acute type of ischemia is the infarction. The root causes of this disease are quite the same as in this the blockage of arteries takes place due to the factors like smoking, cholesterol aggregation, and hypertension. The thing which makes it stand as a whole new disease is the symptoms and the consequences it can bring out. Factors like continuous fatigue, excessive sweating, heartburn, and palpitations are some of the prominent symptoms of the infarction. It will be relevant to mention here that, as angina pectoris is one of the symptoms of the ischemia, the heart attack is the symptom and consequence of the infarction. It is not necessary that one suffering from the infarction witness the symptoms mentioned above; in some cases, it can directly lead to the heart attack as angina itself was the symptom during the ischemia. The silent heart attack (without any complaint of the symptoms) is more exclusive to those suffering from diabetes mellitus since long as compare to the normal people. The reason which makes infarction lethal is the death of the heart tissues due to not getting the required amount of blood flow for the continuous period.

Ischemia vs. Infarction

  • The disease in which the decreasing supply of blood reaches the blood muscle is known as the ischemia. And if this remains constant and not treated properly, it can become infarction at its worst. In this condition, the death of heart muscle takes place due to the continuous inadequate supply of blood.
  • In ischemia, the symptoms like angina pectoris are observed in the patient, where the person suffers from the severe chest pain, which even leads to the shoulders. Contrary to this, excessive sweating, continuous fatigue and palpitations are the major symptoms of infarction.
  • The diagnosing of the ischemia takes place through angiography and ECG, whereas in infarction diagnosing takes place through levels or cardiac biomarkers and the ECG.
  • The ischemia if treated properly doesn’t lead to the heart attack or the death of the person. Conversely, infarction can lead to the death of the person by heart attack or even by the ‘silent heart attack.’

Comparison Video

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Janet White

Janet White is a writer and blogger for Difference Wiki since 2015. She has a master's degree in science and medical journalism from Boston University. Apart from work, she enjoys exercising, reading, and spending time with her friends and family. Connect with her on Twitter @Janet__White

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