Septal infarct is a patch of dead, dying, or decaying tissue on the septum. The septum is the wall of tissue that separates the right ventricle of your heart from the left ventricle. Septal infarct is also called septal infarction.
Septal infarct is usually caused by an inadequate blood supply during a heart attack (myocardial infarction). In the majority of cases, this damage is permanent.
Heart attacks often produce sudden symptoms like dizziness and chest pain. However, sometimes a heart attack causing septal infarct produces no symptoms and goes undetected. The only way it may be detected is during heart surgery or an electrocardiogram (ECG) exam.
If the finding on an ECG is “septal infarct, age undetermined,” it means that the patient possibly had a heart attack at an undetermined time in the past. A second test is typically taken to confirm the finding, because the results may instead be due to incorrect placement of electrodes on the chest during the exam.
For many people, a septal infarct goes unnoticed until discovered during surgery or an ECG.
The symptoms of a heart attack that results in a septal infarct can be either minimal enough to go unperceived or the same as in any other heart attack:
- pressure, pain, or aching in the chest or arms
- pressure, pain, or aching in the neck, jaw, or back
- indigestion or heartburn
- abdominal pain
- shortness of breath
- cold sweat
People having heart attacks don’t always have the same symptoms or the same intensity of symptoms. The more signs and symptoms of a heart attack that you experience, the higher the probability that you’re having one.
If you think you’re experiencing a heart attack, have someone drive you to a hospital or call an ambulance immediately. The faster you get medical attention, the better your chances for a full recovery.
If you’ve had a septal infarct, your doctor might prescribe medication to control your blood pressure or cholesterol. They will also most likely suggest making adjustments to have a healthy lifestyle, such as:
- maintaining a healthy weight
- exercising regularly
- lowering stress
- maintaining a healthy diet
- reducing sodium intake
- limiting alcohol intake
- limiting caffeine intake
- avoiding tobacco products
You probably won’t know if you have septal infarct unless you doctor discovers it during surgery or while administering an ECG. Once diagnosed, your doctor will most likely recommend appropriate lifestyle changes to lower your risk of cardiovascular disease and heart attack. Your doctor might also prescribe medicine to control your blood pressure or your cholesterol.