Myocardial Infarction Part 1 – Pathophysiology


Delve into the intricate world of myocardial infarctions (MIs), commonly known as heart attacks. This comprehensive course explores the pathophysiology of MIs, shedding light on their classification according to the 2007 standardized definition. You'll gain a profound understanding of what exactly constitutes a myocardial infarction, its various signs and symptoms, and the factors that contribute to its occurrence. From chest pain to atypical symptoms experienced by different patient groups, you'll explore the clinical presentations and underlying mechanisms that make MIs a critical area of study in the field of cardiology. Additionally, you'll learn about the vital role of electrocardiograms and cardiac markers in diagnosis, as well as the updated classification of MIs based on their etiology.

Included Lessons:

  • What is a Myocardial Infarction?
CEUs available for the following credentials:




Key Takeaways

Completing this course equips medical coders with the necessary knowledge and skills to accurately code and document cases related to myocardial infarctions, ensuring that healthcare records are both clinically informative and compliant with coding standards. Some key takeaways of this course include:

  • Understanding Myocardial Infarction (MI): Medical coders will acquire a comprehensive understanding of what a myocardial infarction is, including its clinical manifestations, causes, and risk factors.
  • Recognition of Signs and Symptoms: Coders will become proficient in recognizing the signs and symptoms associated with myocardial infarctions, such as chest pain, shortness of breath, diaphoresis, and more, allowing them to better interpret medical records.
  • Gender and Age Considerations: The course highlights the differences in symptoms and presentation of MIs in different demographic groups, including women and older patients, which is crucial for accurate coding.
  • Importance of Electrocardiograms (ECGs): Coders will learn about the role of ECGs in diagnosing MIs, including how to identify ST-segment elevation and other ECG changes associated with myocardial infarctions.
  • Cardiac Biomarkers: Understanding the significance of cardiac biomarkers like troponin levels, creatinine kinase (CK-MB), and myoglobin is essential for accurate coding, and this course provides in-depth knowledge in this area.
  • Updated Classification: Medical coders will gain insights into the revised classification of myocardial infarctions, including types like spontaneous MI, MI secondary to ischemic imbalance, and those associated with medical procedures like percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) and coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG).
  • Coding Accuracy: By understanding the pathophysiology and clinical aspects of myocardial infarctions, coders will be better equipped to assign the correct ICD-10-CM codes for different types of MIs, ensuring accuracy in healthcare documentation and billing.
  • Patient History and Warning Signs: The course emphasizes the significance of recognizing warning symptoms in patients with a history of chest pain, as well as the concept of silent myocardial infarctions, which may not present with typical symptoms.

Benefits of Taking this Course

  • Enhanced Coding Accuracy
  • Knowledge Base for Myocardial Infarctions
  • Increased Compliance
  • Greater Expertise in Cardiology
  • Enhanced Career Advancement Opportunities


Why is the classification of myocardial infarctions important for medical coding, and how has it evolved over time?
Accurate classification is crucial for proper coding. The classification has evolved to distinguish acute myocardial infarction from myocardial injury and includes types like spontaneous MI, MI secondary to ischemic imbalance, and procedure-related MIs.
What are the typical symptoms of a myocardial infarction?

Typical symptoms of a myocardial infarction (MI) include chest pain, which is often described as a sensation of tightness, pressure, or squeezing. Pain may also radiate to the left arm, jaw, neck, right arm, back, or epigastrium, mimicking heartburn. Other common symptoms include shortness of breath (dyspnea), diaphoresis (excessive sweating), weakness, light-headedness, nausea, vomiting, and palpitations. These symptoms are often induced by a surge of catecholamines from the sympathetic nervous system in response to pain and cardiac dysfunction.

What are the key differences in the classification of myocardial infarctions?

Myocardial infarctions are classified into several types, including Type 1 (Spontaneous MI), Type 2 (MI secondary to ischemic imbalance), Type 3 (MI resulting in death without biomarker values), Type 4a (MI associated with percutaneous coronary intervention), Type 4b (MI associated with stent thrombosis), and Type 5 (MI associated with coronary artery bypass graft surgery). These classifications are based on various factors, including the underlying causes and circumstances of the MI, and help guide treatment decisions and coding practices.

About our Medical Coding Courses

HIAlearn, powered by Health Information Associates (HIA)—a leader in medical coding and auditing for more than three decades—offers a comprehensive online education platform for medical coders. With a catalog of over 200 medical coding courses accepted by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) for Continuing Education Units (CEUs) and a selection approved by the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC), HIAlearn caters to both beginners and experienced medical coders seeking to enhance their skills. The platform provides an array of training plans tailored to meet individual learning needs, from mastering challenging coding procedures to understanding broad conceptual frameworks within the coding world. Courses are available across various coding types including CPTE/M, ICD-10-CMICD-10-PCS, and are designed to cater to different coder levels and coding specialties such as inpatientoutpatientprofee, and CDI. Additionally, HIAlearn offers a Coding Updates bundle to ensure coders are up-to-date with the annual changes in ICD-10-CMICD-10-PCSCPT, and IPPS. Beyond individual learning, HIAlearn supports organizations with group discounts, promoting enhanced coding accuracy, efficiency, and compliance across teams. 

Disclaimer: This course is not available for individual sale. Purchase the Myocardial Infarction Training Plan below and get access to 3 total CEUs. 

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