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Doctor insights on: Can You Still Have A Heart Attack If You Have No Plaque Build Up

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Dr. Creighton Wright
1,172 doctors shared insights

Myocardial Infarction (Definition)

Myocardial Infarction means some of the heart muscle dies because of insufficient oxygen supply. Most often this occurs because the coronary artery is blocked by plaque & clot. Other causes include tears in the artery wall, extremely high oxygen demand (eg, rapid arrhythmia, heart valve disorder, or severe systemic illness.) Prompt treatment can minimize heart damage & ...Read more


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I had a CTA SCAN. Showed no stenis or plaque. But a CAC SCORE of 422. Everything I read says I will have a heart attack within two years. I'm 60. ?

I had a CTA SCAN. Showed no stenis or plaque. But a CAC SCORE of 422.   Everything I read says I will have a heart attack within two years.  I'm 60. ?

Risk factors: A lot depends on your risk factors and what you do about them. High blood pressure, diabetes, high LDL cholesterol, obesity, smoking are modifiable, meaning get them all normal, stop smoking and you've decreased your risk. Can't change your family history, but you can optimize your health. See your doctor for a complete exam and labs and work with him/her to decrease your risks. ...Read more

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How does a heart attack occur?Why does the plaque break off?Why this is less likely in young adults 27-35?Esp with norm stress/echo tests/no fam hist

How does a heart attack occur?Why does the  plaque break off?Why this is less likely in young adults 27-35?Esp with norm stress/echo tests/no fam hist

A-: 1- block blood vessels that supply the heart with oxygen and nutrients. 2- because of the flow of blood, it hit on the plaque and it will break. 3-they have less plaques formed in average. 4- risk factors like family history tells you about the predisposition to form plaque. The space is too limited to go in detailes, but I hope this help. ...Read more

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I'm getting a coranary cta this week. Doc said it will show arteries & heart. Will this show if i had a heart attack or plaque build up in arteries?

I'm getting a coranary cta this week. Doc said it will show arteries & heart. Will this show if i had a heart attack or plaque build up in arteries?

CTA for risk: It will look for narrowing of arteries that suggest there is plaque. It will not show a heart attack but will help with identifying risk. Other tests like an ekg would tell if you've had a heart attack. ...Read more

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How much blockage in artery or arteries can cause a heart attack. Also does blockage come from plaque and clot.

Blockage is 100%: to suffer an injury the artery must get closed off for a period of time. Talks about percent stenosis (narrowing) reflect how much of the native artery remains open for flow, that number also gives an estimate about how possible it would be for a small clot to come along and plug up that vessel. The usual way the "door slams shut" is when a clot floats in and finishes making a blockage. ...Read more

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What is the best way to stabilize soft arterial plaque that every adult has in order to prevent a stroke, PE , heart attack, etc.?

What is the best way to stabilize soft arterial plaque that every adult has in order to prevent a stroke, PE , heart attack, etc.?

Excellent Question: Statins- and other drugs and nutritional supplements that lower your LDL particle number and favorably alter your LDL pattern as much as possible. Omega 3 supplements to help lower triglycerides and change LDL pattern when appropriate. Anti- inflammatory diet- avoid sugar, high fructose corn syrup and the like- speak with a nutritionist. There are other suggestions but this is a good start! ...Read more

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Could dissolving with effective supplementation "plaque" from inflamed arteries dislodge and cause stroke or heart attack pre-maturely? %?

Could dissolving with effective supplementation "plaque" from inflamed arteries dislodge and cause stroke or heart attack pre-maturely? %?

No: Stating drugs have been shown to decrease plaque. Most OTC supplements have not been proven. If you have plaque cussing symptoms you should talk to your doctor about treatments. Don't take a chance. Dissolving plaque should not increase the risk of a stroke or vascular event. Make sure you don't risk your life/health on unproven claims. ...Read more

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My dad has "40% stenosis at it's origin" in LAD & 40% plaque in the OM1 of LCx. He takes aspirin, beta blocker & chol. drugs. His heart attack risk?

My dad has "40% stenosis at it's origin" in LAD  & 40% plaque in the OM1 of LCx. He takes aspirin, beta blocker & chol. drugs. His heart attack risk?

Manageable: If he has no symptoms, the recommended medical regimen includes the medications he is taking. The only addition, based on his risk factors, would be an ACE inhibitor (highly recommended for diabetes, but may also be helpful otherwise). He should not smoke and all around him should not smoke. If he can be active in moderation, that's good! He should be aware of symptoms and notify his doc ASAP! ...Read more

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Is it possible to have no blockage and still have a heart attack?

Is it possible to have no blockage and still have a heart attack?

Rare maybe?: Some with spasm but that causes blockage some with dissection but that causes blockage some with Cocaine but that causes spasm most are atherosclerosis with blockage! ...Read more

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Can a person still have a heart attack if they have low cholesterol?

Can a person still have a heart attack if they have low cholesterol?

Yes: Cholesterol is only one risk factor for having a myocardial infarction. It is certainly possible to have a myocardial infarction with having a relatively low cholesterol ...Read more

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I want to lose weight. But if I do, will I still have a heart attack? Heart problems? Anything?.

Risks: Being overweight is only one risk for heart disease. Decreasing weight can decrease your risk. There are many other factors which can put your risk for heart attack, including cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, family history, etc. Congratulations on your goal to lose weight. It will definitely benefit you in the long run, decreased the risk for arthritis, diabetes, etc. ...Read more

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Can someone still have a heart attack after the cardiologist saying that every test looks normal and there´s no evidence of heart disease?

Can someone still have a heart attack after the cardiologist saying that every test looks normal and there´s no evidence of heart disease?

Absolutely: No test detects everything; one may have a genetic predisposition, or one may use drugs that can cause a heart attack. Need more info if you want a more personalized opinion. ...Read more

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If you have a pacemaker, can you still have a heart attack / cardiac arrest?

If you have a pacemaker, can you still have a heart attack / cardiac arrest?

Yes: pacemaker helps to control or regulate the rhythm (electricity) of the heart. Heart attack is related to blockages of the arteries of the heart (plumbing, if you want the analogy). Pacemaker will prevent the heart beating too slow but will NOT prevent blockages from developing or producing heart attacks ...Read more

Dr. Creighton Wright
3,954 doctors shared insights

Heart Attack (Definition)

A life-threatening condition in which the blood vessels that supply the heart becomes occluded and thus the heart itself is not longer receiving any blood flow. Without this blood flow, the heart muscle dies and cannot pump blood to the ...Read more


Plaque (Definition)

A plaque is a broad, raised area on the skin. For example, patients with psoriasis have a lot of scaly plaques on their ...Read more