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Acute Coronary Syndrome


Acute coronary syndrome (ACS) occurs when a plaque inside a coronary artery suddenly ruptures. A blood clot forms and blocks blood flow to the heart muscle, depriving the heart of oxygen-rich blood and causing unstable angina (a type of chest pain) or a heart attack. The amount of time blood flow is blocked and the extent of heart damage determine which type of ACS occurs, but it is always considered a life-threatening condition.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerJohn A. McPherson, MD, FACC, FSCAI - Cardiology
Last RevisedMay 1, 2010

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