What is acute Coronary Syndrome
Heart Attack: or
ACUTE CORONARY SYNDROME ACS
An acute coronary syndrome (ACS) is a set of signs and symptoms
usually a combination of chest pain and other features like sweating vomiting, interpreted as being
the result of abruptly decreased blood flow to the heart muscles(cardiac ischemia); the most common
cause for ACS is of atherosclerotic plaque in any of coronary arteries.
Types of Acute Coronary Syndromes - or heart
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
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.
Unstable 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.
Heart attack: Non-ST
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 minimal.
Heart attack: ST 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
Other terms associated with a heart
myocardium: If blood flow is returned to an area
of heart muscle after a period of ischemia (lack of blood supply), the heart muscle may not pump
normally for a period of days following the event. This is called "stunned" heart muscle or
myocardium: After a heart attack, some areas of
heart muscle do not pump as they should. Some areas will have permanent damage. Other areas are
able to return to their normal function if blood flow is returned to that area (by medications
or a procedure). Hibernating myocardium is heart muscle that is "resting" and may possibly
return to normal function.