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Curr Vasc Pharmacol. 2013 Apr 29. [Epub ahead of print]

The Meaning of Different Forms of Structural Myocardial Injury, Immune Response and Timing of Infarct Necrosis And Cardiac Repair.

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  • 1Department of Forensic Medicine, Ospedale Colonnello D'Avanzo, Via degli Aviatori 1, 71100 Foggia, Italy. emanuela_turillazzi@inwind.it.


Although a decline in the all-cause and cardiac mortality rates following myocardial infarction (MI) during the past 3 decades has been reported, myocardial infarction is a major cause of death and disability worldwide. From a pathological point of view MI consists in a particular myocardial cell death due to prolonged ischemia. After the onset of myocardial ischemia, cell death is not immediate, but takes a finite period of time to develop. Once complete myocytes' necrosis has occurred, a process leading to a healed infarction takes place. In fact, myocardial infarction is a dynamic process that begins with the transition from reversible to irreversible ischemic injury and culminates in the replacement of dead myocardium by a fibrous scar. The pathobiological mechanisms underlying this process are very complex, involving an inflammatory response by several pathways, and pose a major challenge to ability to improve our knowledge. An improved understanding of the pathobiology of cardiac repair after myocardial infarction and further studies of its underlying mechanisms provide avenues for the development of future strategies directed toward the identification of novel therapies. The chronologic dating of MI is of great importance both to clinical and forensic investigation, that is, the ability to create a theoretical timeline upon which either clinicians or forensic pathologist may increase their ability to estimate the time of MI. Aging of MI has very important practical implications in clinical practice since, based on the chronological dating of MI, attractive alternative to solve therapeutic strategies in the various phases of MI are developing.

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