Confusion remains wide spread despite the publication of this distinction years ago. But now, according to this piece in Circulation, the coding world is finally catching up. ICD 10 now has a code for type 2 MI. Here are some of my take home points:
A type 2 MI is not an acute coronary syndrome.
On initial presentation the distinction is based on clinical circumstances and may occasionally be difficult.
Further investigation usually makes the distinction clear by the end of the hospitalization.
Type 2 MI, though a distinct category, is not a primary single entity in that it is always secondary to something else, one or more of many known conditions. For this reason it is heterogeneous and there are no guidelines for type 2 MI per se. Its treatment always consists of management of the underlying conditions that are altering the myocardial oxygen supply demand balance.
Though ICD 10 now recognizes the distinction, type 2 MI has yet to be excluded from certain performance and regulatory categories for MI due to acute coronary syndrome.
Those who conflate NSTEMI and type 2 MI not only expose their ignorance (or disregard) of the classification and pathophysiology of MI but also risk subjecting patients to inappropriate and potentially harmful treatments. An example is provided in the article.