What is the difference in the treatment between a STEMI and NSTEMI?

STEMI is ST elevation myocardial infarction and NSTEMI non ST elevation myocardial infarction. Since STEMI is due to sudden thrombotic occlusion (formation of a blood clot) of a coronary artery, the mainstay of treatment is thrombolytic therapy (treatment to dissolve the clot). NSTEMI is due to an unstable plaque with aggregation of platelets. Hence the mainstay of treatment is anti platelet drugs and anticoagulants. Aspirin, clopidogrel, beta blockers and statins are given to both types of infarction. Primary angioplasty is another option for STEMI, if the facility is locally available. Primary angioplasty is considered justified if the difference between the time required to arrange primary angioplasty is not more than 1 hour more than the time for arranging thrombolysis.

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