Myocardial infarction secondary to coronary embolus in a pat
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Coronary embolism is a rare cause of myocardial infarction (MI). Authors present a case report which emphasizes the importance of intracoronary imaging in these cases to identify the pathophysiological mechanism of MI.

A 53-year-old male with no past medical history presented to the hospital with typical angina. Electrocardiogram and serum troponin I level trend confirmed non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction. Coronary angiography showed no evidence of any obstructive coronary artery disease, but two small thrombi were noted in the distal first obtuse marginal branch. Optical coherence tomography imaging confirmed this finding in absence of any underlying atherosclerotic plaque rupture or erosion.

Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging revealed the diagnosis of non-compaction cardiomyopathy with severely depressed left ventricular function. Transmural MI was revealed by late gadolinium enhancement in the mid-lateral wall. Based on the pathophysiology of the MI confirmed by intracoronary imaging, antiplatelet medications were discontinued, and the patient was discharged on warfarin. Medical therapy was initiated for his cardiomyopathy. The patient recovered well and was asymptomatic at 1-year follow-up visit.

Intracoronary imaging plays an important role to supplement coronary angiography to confirm the pathophysiology of MI in coronary embolism cases. This is important as it alters management in these patients.