On an annual basis, 13.2% of all deaths are attributable to coronary artery disease (CAD),
which makes CAD - with 7.4 million deaths – the leading cause of death in the world. In this review, we
discuss current knowledge in the pathophysiology of atherosclerosis with its progression to stable CAD
and its destabilization and complication with thrombus formation – myocardial infarction (MI). Next,
we describe mechanisms of myocardial cell death in MI, the ischemia-reperfusion injury, leftventricular
remodeling and complications of MI. Furthermore, we add acute management strategies
concentrating on medical therapy, a decision on the reperfusion strategy, timing and cardiac protection
by ischemic preconditioning, post-conditioning and remote ischemic conditioning.