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What is an anterior myocardial infarction?

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When the oxygen supply to the heart tissue is cut off, a myocardial infarction occurs, explains Mayo Clinic. An anterior myocardial infarction, or heart attack, results in damage to the tissue at the front and side of the left ventricle of the heart, states Cath Lab Digest. The extent of the damage depends on the severity of the myocardial infarction.

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Plaque deposits in the coronary artery grow to significantly block the flow of oxygenated blood to the heart, which results in damage to the muscle tissue. The left anterior descending artery supplies oxygenated blood to the anterior portion of the left ventricle, states Cath Lab Digest. A blockage in this artery results in damage to the tissue at the front of the bottom-left chamber of the heart. Damage to the side of the ventricle and the wall between the left and right ventricle occurs if the blockage is very large and descends into the branches of the left anterior descending artery.

Anterior myocardial infarctions are caused by a number of factors that are all similar to factors that cause myocardial infarctions in other areas of the heart. Male gender, being over the age of 45, having a history of smoking and having a family history of heart attack all increase the risk of experiencing anterior myocardial infarction. High cholesterol and high blood pressure are also well known causes of heart attacks. The most common cause of anterior myocardial infarction is atherosclerosis, which leads to a buildup of plaque in the coronary arteries, reports Mayo Clinic.

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