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Heart disease health centre

Different types of heart attack

BMJ Group Medical Reference

Doctors sometimes use names for heart attacks that describe the part of the heart that's been damaged. You don't need to remember them. But you may hear your doctor use them.

The names your doctor might use include:

  • Anterior infarct: Infarct is the name that doctors give to a part of an organ that has been damaged because its blood supply has been cut off. Doctors use the term anterior infarct when the front part of the heart has been damaged. This type of heart attack usually affects the lower chamber on the left side of your heart (the left ventricle). The left ventricle pumps blood to all parts of your body. Anterior infarcts are often big heart attacks that happen when a branch of the left coronary artery is blocked. This is the most dangerous type of heart attack

  • Posterior or inferior infarct: These heart attacks affect the back or base of the heart. A posterior or inferior infarct is often smaller than an anterior infarct. They're usually caused when the right coronary artery or one of its branches is blocked.

Your doctor may also describe your heart attack by referring to the type of changes he or she sees on your electrocardiogram (ECG). To learn more, see Tests for a heart attack.

Your doctor may talk about an ST segment elevation, an ST segment depression, or Q waves. These are all changes your doctor will look for on your electrocardiogram. They will help your doctor work out which is the best treatment for you.


For references related to Heart attack click here.
Last Updated: December 18, 2012
This information does not replace medical advice.  If you are concerned you might have a medical problem please ask your Boots pharmacy team in your local Boots store, or see your doctor.

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