Fourth Universal Definition of Myocardial Infarction

Publication Date: 2018

Chairperson: Kristian Thygesen & Joseph S Alpert

Myocardial infarction, Type 1 MI, Type 2 MI, Type 3 MI, Type 4a MI, Type 4b MI, Type 4c MI, Type 5 MI, Cardiac troponin, High sensitivity cardiac troponin, Myocardial injury, Prior myocardial infarction, Silent myocardial infarction, Recurrent myocardial infarction, Re-infarction, Cardiac procedural myocardial injury, Takotsubo syndrome, Myocardial infarction with non-obstructive coronary arteries (MINOCA)

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Fourth universal definition of myocardial infarction (2018)


“In the late 19th century, post-mortem examinations demonstrated a possible relationship between thrombotic occlusion of a coronary artery and myocardial infarction (MI). However, it was not until the beginning of the 20th century that the first clinical descriptions appeared describing a connection between the formation of a thrombus in a coronary artery and its associated clinical features. Despite these landmark observations, considerable time elapsed before general clinical acceptance of this entity was achieved, in part due to one autopsy study that showed no thrombi in the coronary arteries of 31% of deceased patients with an MI. The clinical entity was referred to as coronary thrombosis, although use of the term ‘MI’ ultimately prevailed. Over the years, several different definitions of MI have been used, leading to controversy and confusion. Hence, a general and worldwide definition for MI was needed. This occurred for the first time in the 1950–70s, when working groups from the World Health Organization (WHO) established a primarily electrocardiographic (ECG)-based definition of MI intended for epidemiological use. The original description, with minor modifications, is still used in epidemiological surveys.”