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Acute Coronary Syndrome

Overbaugh, Kristen J. MSN, RN, APRN-BC

AJN The American Journal of Nursing: May 2009 - Volume 109 - Issue 5 - p 42–52
doi: 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000351508.39509.e2
Feature Article

Acute coronary syndrome (ACS) is the umbrella term for the clinical signs and symptoms of myocardial ischemia: unstable angina, non–ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction, and ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction. This article further defines ACS and the conditions it includes; reviews its risk factors; describes its pathophysiology and associated signs and symptoms; discusses variations in its diagnostic findings, such as cardiac biomarkers and electrocardiographic changes; and outlines treatment approaches, including drug and reperfusion therapies.

This condition results from a sudden reduction in the flow of blood (and oxygen) to the heart. It's important to understand what causes it and to recognize its signs and symptoms.

Kristen J. Overbaugh is an instructor at Central New Mexico Community College in Albuquerque. The author of this article has disclosed no ties, financial or otherwise, to any company that might have an interest in the publication of this educational activity.

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© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.