Acute Coronary Syndromes



Coronary syndromes that cause a relatively rapid onset or increase of symptoms or ischemia are termed acute coronary syndromes (ACSs). ACS is a continuum of unstable coronary syndromes that stretches from “unstable angina” to acute ST-segment myocardial infarction (STEMI). In this chapter, we will discuss the portion of the spectrum that extends from unstable angina to minor non-ST-segment myocardial infarction (NSTEMI). STEMI and related syndromes are discussed in Chap. 18.

The hallmark of ACSs is a fairly abrupt onset of angina (or equivalent ischemic symptoms, such as dyspnea and diaphoresis) or rapid worsening of preexisting ischemic cardiac symptoms. For more than a century, this change in clinical symptoms has been associated with a high risk of subsequent myocardial infarction or cardiac death (Lancet 1:860, 1972). The syndrome has also been termed crescendo angina, preinfarction angina, and unstable angina, all connoting its ominous natural history.


Percutaneous Coronary Intervention Acute Coronary Syndrome Atherosclerotic Plaque Unstable Angina Ischemic Symptom 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Cardiovascular MedicineUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA

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