Non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI) is a type of [“heart attack”: link to new heart attack copy] involving partial blockage of one of the coronary arteries, causing reduced flow of oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscle. For most patients, the heart damage caused by NSTEMI is less serious than from STEMI, although the experience is likely to be similarly frightening. Both STEMI and NSTEMI patients are said to have acute coronary syndrome.
Blood testing. A blood test that shows higher than normal levels of cardiac enzymes will confirm an NSTEMI has occurred. The damage to heart cells is typically less severe than with STEMI.
Electrocardiogram (ECG). An ECG will show a clearly different pattern of electrical activity involving a patient’s heartbeat for NSTEMI than for STEMI. With NSTEMI, the ST segment is depressed rather than elevated and the readout shows no progression to Q wave.