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Having raised troponin levels. Any risk of having heart attack due to artery blockage?

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General & Family Physician
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Can a heart attack only occur if an artery is blocked? And what does it mean if you have raised tromonin levels ?

Many thanks
Posted Thu, 3 Oct 2013 in Heart Attack
Answered by Dr. Chobufo Ditah 2 hours later
Brief Answer:

Detailed Answer:
Hi and thanks for this query.

Heart attack often occurs when the heart muscle lacks sufficient nutrients(oxygen) to carry on with its normal activities. This is usually caused be a complete lack of blood flow to the heart(blocked) or insufficient blood flow to the heart(stenosis). So I would say yes but also remember that even an incompletely blocked artery could still cause heart attack if only small volumes of blood can go through. Also, an artery may be completely blocked but the area equally receives blood supply from another artery, in this case tere would be no muscle damage or heart attack. So the bottom line is that the muscle should be depriived of unsupportable low levels of nutrients(mainly oxygen).

Troponins are proteins specific to heart muscles. When there is a heart muscle injury like heart attack, the protein is released into blood and it causes raised(increased) troponin levels. Troponins are therefore known as marker of cardiac tissue damage. They are very specific for the heart.

I hope this addresses your query fully. Feel free to ask for clarifications if needed.
I wish you good health.
Dr. Ditah, MD
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