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Management of acute coronary syndrome 

Management of acute coronary syndrome
Chapter:
Management of acute coronary syndrome
Author(s):

Rajesh K. Kharbanda

, and Keith A.A. Fox

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198746690.003.0367
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date: 07 March 2021

Acute coronary syndrome (ACS) is precipitated by an abrupt change in an atheromatous plaque and/or thrombotic occlusion. This results in increased obstruction to perfusion and ischaemia or infarction in the territory supplied by the affected vessel. The clinical consequences of plaque rupture can range from a clinically silent episode, through to unstable symptoms of ischaemia without infarction, to profound ischaemia complicated by progressive infarction, heart failure, arrhythmia, and risk of sudden death. Clinical presentation with an ACS identifies a patient at high risk of further cardiovascular events requiring a defined acute and long-term management strategy. Prompt relief of pain is important, not only for humanitarian reasons, but also because pain is associated with sympathetic activation, vasoconstriction, and increased myocardial work. The management of prehospital cardiac arrest requires special attention: at least as many lives can be saved by prompt resuscitation and defibrillation as by reperfusion.

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