A myocardial infarction is a serious condition where there is complete blockage of blood supply to the heart. In contrast, stable angina is chest pain or discomfort that usually occurs with activity or stress resulting from poor blood flow through the blood vessels in the heart.

Comparison chart

Myocardial Infarction versus Stable Angina comparison chart
Edit this comparison chartMyocardial InfarctionStable Angina
Colloquially known as Heart attack Chest pain with activity or stress
Causes Complete blockage of blood supply to heart muscle. Secondary to sudden and extended obstruction of the myocardial blood supply Decrease in blood supply to heart muscle --> myocardial ischemia.
Occurrence of pain Can occur at any time Occurs when engaged in physical activity or due to emotional stress
Symptoms Chest pain with damage to the heart. Pain is sudden substernal chest pain radiates to left neck and usually described as severe, steady, and crushing. Hypotension, weak rapid pulse, and low grade fever Chest pain with no damage to the heart. Pain is described as a tightness or pressure in the chest, and may radiate to the neck, lower jaw, left arm, and left shoulder.
Outcome May be fatal Usually not fatal
Severity Serious condition. May cause permanent damage. If blood supply can be restored in the first 20 min irreversible damage may be prevented. Usually no permanent damage to heart muscle. If blood flow is restored, no permanent damage.
Relieving Factors Symptoms persists after 15 minutes and not relieved by rest or nitro. Symptoms relieved by rest or nitro within 10-15 minutes. Lack of relief indicates an individual may be developing infarction
Duration Chest pain usually lasts for more than 15 minutes Usually chest pain for less than 15 minutes. Discomfort is usually transient, lasting 3-5 min.
Serum cardiac marker Present Not present
ICD-10 I20 I21-I22
ICD-9 410 413

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