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Illness & Conditions - Definition

Acute Coronary Syndrome

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 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 Revised: April 6, 2012

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology & Robert A. Kloner, MD, PhD - Cardiology

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