Silent Heart Attack

A silent heart attack may occur without a person knowing it and diagnosed retrospectively by ECG or Echocardiogram.

From its name silent heart attack, it happens either:

  • With no symptoms or
  • With minimal symptoms or
  • With unrecognized symptoms.

But it is like any other heart attack that ends by heart muscle damage and scarring and its consequences.

The reasons for silent heart attack are:

  • High pain thresholds in some people.
  • Diabetes and chronic renal disease can affect the nerves which carry pain impulses.
  • Atypical symptoms like some degree of dyspnea, fatigue, transient weakness.
  • Wrong understanding of some symptoms of heart attack like it is muscle spasm or heart burn, cold or something he/she ate.
  • Age and gender. It is more common in the elderly people after 75 years. Percentage of occurrence is more in men.


As I mentioned before, it is diagnosed retrospectively while checking the patient for another cause or screening by ECG, echocardiography, cardiac CT or Cardiac MRI. Unfortunately the diagnosis is only made after the damage has been occurred.

When we face silent heart attack we should consider two important  issues:

  • First you have significant coronary artery disease.
  • Your symptoms are not helpful to see how severe your coronary artery disease is and how adequately it is being treated. So to be symptom free does not mean your treatment is perfect or the coronary artery disease is stable.

Our aim of treatment is to:

  • Protect the patient from ischemia by medication or revascularization (stenting or bypass surgery).
  • Protect the heart muscle from failure.
  • Prevent sudden cardiac death from arrhythmia.

 Dubai Cardiology Clinic - Treatment of various cardiovascular diseases such as Hypertension, Ischemic heart disease, Holter monitoring, Heart failure, Stress test , chest pain, echocardiography are now available in DRHC.


Dr. M. Adib Nanaa

Specialist Cardiologist