Acute coronary syndrome (Acute coronary syndromes clinical care standard)
Identifying and definitional attributes
|Metadata item type:||Glossary Item|
For the purposes of the Acute coronary syndromes clinical care standard (ACSQHC 2014), an acute coronary syndrome results from a sudden blockage of a blood vessel in the heart, typically by a blood clot (thrombosis) that reduces blood supply to a portion of heart muscle. Where the blockage is severe enough to lead to injury or death of the heart muscle, the event is called an acute myocardial infarction (or ‘heart attack’). Depending on the duration of the ischaemia and the extent of damage to the heart muscle, the myocardial infarction can be:
Acute coronary syndromes also include unstable angina (chest pain usually due to restricted blood flow to the heart muscles), which can lead to a heart attack. The most common cause of an acute coronary syndrome is atherosclerosis (or ‘coronary heart disease’) where an artery wall thickens due to a build-up of fatty materials such as cholesterol.
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