Acute coronary syndrome

Acute coronary syndrome (ACS) occurs when a plaque inside a coronary artery suddenly ruptures 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.

Last Updated: May 29, 2008

Author: Robin Parks, MS

Medical Review: Caroline S. Rhoads, MD - Internal Medicine & Robert A. Kloner, MD, PhD - Cardiology & Ruth Schneider, MPH, RD - Diet and Nutrition

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