Overview

Acute coronary syndrome is a term used to describe a range of conditions associated with sudden, reduced blood flow to the heart.

One condition under the umbrella of acute coronary syndrome is myocardial infarction (heart attack) — when cell death results in damaged or destroyed heart tissue. Even when acute coronary syndrome causes no cell death, the reduced blood flow alters heart function and indicates a high risk of heart attack.

Acute coronary syndrome often causes severe chest pain or discomfort. It is a medical emergency that requires prompt diagnosis and care. Treatment goals include improving blood flow, treating complications and preventing future problems.

May 06, 2016
References
  1. Acute coronary syndrome. Merck Manual Professional Version. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/SearchResults?query=acute+coronary+syndrome. Accessed Feb. 9, 2016.
  2. Timmis A. Acute coronary syndromes. BMJ. 2015;351:h5153.
  3. Reeder GS, et al. Initial evaluation and management of suspected acute coronary syndrome (myocardial infarction, unstable angina) in the emergency room. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Feb. 9, 2016.
  4. Who is at risk for coronary heart disease? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/cad/atrisk. Accessed Feb. 11, 2016.
  5. Myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI) test. American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HeartAttack/SymptomsDiagnosisofHeartAttack/Myocardial-Perfusion-Imaging-MPI-Test_UCM_446352_Article.jsp#.VtMi8xh4yPU. Accessed Feb. 12, 2016.
  6. Prem S, et al. Noninvasive imaging and stress testing in patients with suspected acute coronary syndrome. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Feb. 12, 2016.
  7. Cardiac medications. American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HeartAttack/PreventionTreatmentofHeartAttack/Cardiac-Medications_UCM_303937_Article.jsp#.VtMjlhh4yPU. Accessed Feb. 12, 2016.
  8. Cayla G, et al. Updates and current recommendations for the management of patients with non-ST-elevation acute coronary syndromes: What it means for clinical practice. American Journal of Cardiology. 2015;115:10A.
  9. Cardiac procedures and surgeries. American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HeartAttack/PreventionTreatmentofHeartAttack/Cardiac-Procedures-and-Surgeries_UCM_303939_Article.jsp#.VtMj5hh4yPU. Accessed Feb. 12, 2016.