Differentiating patients with type 1 and type 2 myocardial infarction (MI) and acute non-ischemic myocardial injury continues to be a problem for many clinicians. Type 1 MI is the most easily defined. It involves the rise and fall of blood troponin measurements (only falling values if the patient arrives late) with an appropriate clinical observation consistent with myocardial ischemia. Diagnosis and therapy of type 1 MI are well understood and usually present no problem to the physician. The clinical scenarios leading to type 2 MI and non-ischemic myocardial injury are, however, often fraught with greater degrees of uncertainty. In addition, therapy for these latter 2 entities is poorly defined. This review will present 3 patient scenarios that should help clinicians understand the difference between these 3 entities as well as possible therapeutic interventions.
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