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Diagnosis of an Acute Myocardial Infarction (AMI)

In 2007, the ESC/ACC/AHA published updated criteria for an AMI:

To meet the criteria of an AMI (heart attack) the following criteria must be met:
  1. Elevated biomarkers (troponin) and:
  2. One of the following must also be present:
  • Ischemic symptoms
  • ECG changes indicating a new ischemic event
  • Pathological ECG with Q waves (abnormal tracings found in AMI)
  • Imaging evidence of new myocardial damage

In 2002, ACC/AHA published practice guidelines for diagnosis of a new category of heart disease called acute coronary syndrome (ACS). AACC and IFCC continue to improve guidelines in order to improve and clarify diagnoses. The goal is to increase detection of those presenting with true AMI and decrease hospitalization of those who present with chest pain and have not experienced a true AMI.