What is myocardial bridging?

Myocardial bridging

Myocardial bridging means that a part of a coronary artery passes through the heart muscle. The coronary arteries are blood vessels that bring oxygen-rich blood to the heart. Normally, they lie on top of the heart's surface. Myocardial bridging does not cause problems for most people. It can be a problem for some people if it limits blood flow. When the heart muscle contracts, it can squeeze the artery. This can stop some blood from getting to the heart muscle. In some cases, it can lead to a heart attack.

Most people who have myocardial bridging don't have any symptoms. If symptoms do occur, they may include chest pain or pressure or a strange feeling in the chest, back, neck, jaw, upper belly, or one or both shoulders or arms. There may also be shortness of breath, nausea, lightheadedness, or sudden weakness.

The symptoms of myocardial bridging may be treated with medicine. Some people have a procedure or surgery to improve blood flow in the artery.

What are the symptoms of myocardial bridging?

Most people who have myocardial bridging don't have any symptoms. If symptoms do occur, they may include chest pain or pressure or a strange feeling in the chest. Other symptoms include shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, lightheadedness, sudden weakness, and a fast or irregular heartbeat.

How is myocardial bridging treated?

Most people do not need treatment. You can help keep your heart as healthy as possible with a heart-healthy lifestyle and by managing other health conditions. If you have symptoms, you may take medicines that can help you feel better. Some people have a procedure or surgery to improve blood flow to the heart.

How is myocardial bridging diagnosed?

Myocardial bridging is usually found during tests for other reasons. These may be tests that check how well your heart is working and measure blood flow to your heart muscle. Examples of these tests include a coronary angiogram, an echocardiogram, and a CT angiogram.

How can you care for yourself when you have myocardial bridging?

Have a heart-healthy lifestyle. This includes eating healthy foods, being active, staying at a weight that's healthy for you, and not smoking. Manage other health problems. Take medicines if your doctor prescribes them. Tell your doctor if you have new symptoms or changes in your symptoms.

What is myocardial bridging?

Myocardial bridging means that part of a coronary artery passes through the heart muscle. When the heart muscle pumps blood, it can squeeze the artery. This can stop some blood from getting to the heart muscle. It doesn't cause problems for most people. But for some it can lead to symptoms or heart problems.

Myocardial bridging: When to call

Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:

  • You passed out (lost consciousness).
  • You have symptoms of a heart attack. These may include:
    • Chest pain or pressure, or a strange feeling in the chest.
    • Sweating.
    • Shortness of breath.
    • Nausea or vomiting.
    • Pain, pressure, or a strange feeling in the back, neck, jaw, or upper belly or in one or both shoulders or arms.
    • Lightheadedness or sudden weakness.
    • A fast or irregular heartbeat.
    After you call 911, the operator may tell you to chew 1 adult-strength or 2 to 4 low-dose aspirin. Wait for an ambulance. Do not try to drive yourself.

Call your doctor now if:

  • Your symptoms seem worse, come on sooner, or last longer than usual.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if you have any problems.

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The content above contains general health information provided by Healthwise, Incorporated, and reviewed by its medical experts. This content should not replace the advice of your healthcare provider. Not all treatments or services described are offered as services by us. For recommended treatments, please consult your healthcare provider.