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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. This deprives the heart of oxygen-rich blood and causes 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: February 13, 2013
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology & Stephen Fort, MD, MRCP, FRCPC - Interventional Cardiology
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