Heart tear – definition and images

Heart tear - rupture of the heart
Heart tear – rupture of the heart

A heart tear is a rupture of the heart muscle. The heart muscle is strong. It cannot be torn by the force of cardiac contraction without first being damaged. Such a rupture occurs as a complication of a myocardial infarction. A heart attack is necrosis, the death of a part of the heart as a result of blockage of a coronary (heart) artery that has undergone atherosclerotic changes (coronary sclerosis). By the end of the first week after the heart attack, the dead part of the heart muscle softens and becomes brittle. This is how the human body looks like after death, when decay begins. 

As a complication of myocardial infarction, sometimes, during one of the contractions of the heart, a rupture of the wall of the left heart chamber can occur, which has received the popular name heartbreak. In this severe complication, the left ventricle pushes blood out through its torn wall instead of through the aorta. Blood rushes into the pericardial sac and fills it – hemopericardium occurs. The pericardial sac, in which the heart lies, can hold 250-300 ml of blood, sometimes more. A blood clot formed in the pericardial sac blocks the contractions of the heart and leads to death. The immediate cause of death in this case is cardiac arrest. 


Atherosclerosis is a disease that affects the large arteries of all people and is expressed in focal thickening of the vessel wall. These are the so-called atherosclerotic plaques that protrude inward towards the cavity of the vessels and narrow them. In this way, they reduce blood flow to the organs. Atherosclerosis can be expressed to different degrees in different people; in one person it may affect some organ arteries to a greater extent than in another; but everyone, without exception, has atherosclerotic changes in their vessels. Atherosclerosis begins in childhood and adolescence and progresses slowly, insidiously, asymptomatically. After decades, due to narrowing of the arterial vessels, atherosclerosis manifests itself in various organs with the symptoms of impaired blood supply. 


Coronary sclerosis
Coronary sclerosis

Arterial hypertension, high blood pressure, goes „hand in hand“ with atherosclerosis. The two diseases aggravate and complicate each other. They are the most common cause of death in humans. 

The organ damage of atherosclerosis and hypertension is a major cause of death in developed countries. 

The involvement of cerebral blood vessels by both diseases forms the group of the so-called Cerebrovascular Disease. Affecting the coronary arteries (vessels of the heart) forms the group of Ischemic Heart Disease. This includes cardiac angina (chest frog) and myocardial infarction.

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