How can you find out whether a person had a heart attack earlier?
ECG / EKG (Electrocardiogram) can detect an old heart attack it even years later. Old myocardial infarctions (heart attack) will manifest as pathological Q waves in the ECG. Cardiac troponin test detects a recent myocardial infarction for about 2 weeks. CPK (Creatine Phosphokinase) can detect it for a few days. The CPK value peaks at about 24 hours after a myocardial infarction. Echocardiogram can also detect an old myocardial infarction for a long period. Nuclear imaging and MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) can also detect previous myocardial infarction. But if these tests are negative, it does not always exclude a previous heart attack, as the evidence may not persist long in mild attacks.
ECG / EKG: Electrocardiogram
Myocardial infarction: Heart attack – damage to a region of the heart muscle due to lack of blood supply
CPK: Creatine Phosphokinase – An enzyme released into the blood after a heart attack or damage to muscles
Echocardiogram: Ultrasound imaging of the heart
Cardiac troponin: Protein released into the blood after injury to heart muscle, used as a test to detect a heart attack
Magnetic Resonance Imaging: Test using the changes movement of atomic nuclei in response to changes in magnetic field