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Had severe chest pain. ECG normal but high troponin levels due to which had heart attack. Advise?

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General & Family Physician
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My dad had severe chest pain so was taken to hospital. Ecg was normal but somethjng called troponin levels were raised twice. Based on this they said hes had a heart attack.

Is this enough to make a diagnosis if hearattack? Does this mean his heart has been damaged?

They did not discuss with us anything re his heart damage at all.

An angiogram was also done and no arteries were blocked but there was some plaque. Should arteries usually not be blocked for an attack to happen?
Posted Mon, 23 Sep 2013 in Heart Attack
Answered by Dr. Pavan Kumar Gupta 1 hour later
Thanks for the query.
Brief answer....It is not necessary for arteries to be totally get blocked for chest pain to occur.
Detailed answer...
The troponin is released in blood when the heart muscle has been damaged, such as a heart attack. The more damage there is to the heart, the greater the amount of troponin T and I  will be in the blood.
Whenever a person gets chest pain,it is said that he has got heart attack.
The medical term of heart attack is myocardial infarction.
Heart attack means that some of the muscle tissue in your heart has died. 

A heart attack usually occurs because one of the blood vessels (called coronary arteries) is blocked. However it is not necessary for arteries to get blocked for getting the chest pains.
You may get chest pains even with fast heart beats or even with temporary coronary artery spasm resulting in temporary occlusion of blood flow to the heart muscle resulting in chest pain( known as angina ).This situation may arise during exercise or hard work or even with stress.
Since your father is having plaques deposited along the walls of coronary arteries,even these can rupture unexpectedly and cause totally blocking of coronary artery.
Since there is no blockage in the coronary artery,as shown by the angiogram,it looks that it was just an angina attack due to temporary occlusion of coronary artery.
I hope it is clear to you now.
You may revert to me if you want to ask any thing more .
Best of luck
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Had severe chest pain. ECG normal but high troponin levels due to which had heart attack. Advise? 7 minutes later
That was very helpful. Could it be angina attack even though the tromolin levels were high on two blood tests?

Answered by Dr. Pavan Kumar Gupta 7 minutes later
Yes it can be angina and rather I should say that it is angina only,because no obstruction in arteries has been visualised in angiogram.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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