Types of Acute Coronary Syndrome
Acute Coronary Syndrome is a
name given to three types of coronary artery diseases that are associated with sudden rupture of
plaque inside the coronary artery: Unstable angina, Non-ST segment elevation myocardial infarction
or heart attack (NSTEMI), or ST segment elevation myocardial infarction or heart attack
The location of the
blockage, the length of time that blood flow is blocked and the amount of damage that occurs
determines the type of acute coronary syndrome.
These life-threatening conditions most often
require emergency medical care.
angina is a new symptom or
a change from stable angina. The angina may occur more frequently, occur more easily at rest,
feel more severe, or last longer. Although this angina can often be relieved with oral
medications, it is unstable and if not treated timely may progress to a heart attack. Usually
more intense medical treatment or a procedure is required. Unstable angina is an acute
coronary syndrome and should be treated as a medical emergency.
segment elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI): This heart attack,
or MI, does not cause changes on an electrocardiogram (ECG). However, chemical markers like
Cardiac Troponin in the blood indicate that damage has occurred to the heart muscle. In
NSTEMI, the blockage may be partial or temporary, and so the extent of the damage relatively
segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI): This heart attack,
or MI, is caused by a prolonged period of blocked blood supply. It affects a large area of
the heart muscle, and so causes changes on the ECG as well as in blood levels of key chemical
markers. ST segment will elevate in chest leads or arm leads of ECG depending upon location
of heart muscle damage.