Acute coronary syndrome comprises of multiple conditions which are linked with the reduced blood flow to the heart. This syndrome is like an umbrella of many heart diseases which includes myocardial infarction which is another name of the heart attack.
Many people often confuse myocardial infarction with the coronary syndrome, however, they both are not the same.
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What is Acute Coronary Syndrome?
The Acute coronary syndrome, abbreviated as ACS, is a syndrome which is caused due to blockage of coronary arteries. Coronary arteries are the arteries which control the entire coronary circulation that means in and out of blood from all the cardiac muscles. Also, in the case of this syndrome the arteries blockage causes heart muscles to collapse or die.
The ACS is mostly associated with three clinical manifestations that are ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI, 30%), non-ST elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI, 25%), or unstable angina (38%). Whereas the heart muscles require continuous, uninterrupted blood supply which is sabotaged due to the blood clot which arouses the coronary syndrome.
What are the Symptoms of Acute Coronary Syndrome?
As we learned, the syndrome is caused by the irregular or zero blood supply to the heart muscles but sometimes the cells do not die, but damage due to an inadequate supply of oxygen results in heart muscles that do not work correctly or efficiently.
The symptoms of ACS are visible from the primary stage of the illness. However, the symptoms strike in a sudden way without any warning or anything. These symptoms are extremely life-threatening and severe which must be consulted by a doctor immediately. The possible symptoms are enlisted below.
- Chest pain or discomfort
- Dizziness or feeling lightheaded
- Pain or discomfort in the back, jaw, neck, stomach or arms
- Nausea or vomiting
- Shortness of breath
What are the Risk Factors of Acute Coronary Syndrome?
The possible risk factors for Acute Coronary Syndrome involves the following things. Also, the risk factors of ACS are quite to any of the heart diseases.
- Old Age (men of 45 years or older, women aged 55 years or older)
- High blood pressure or cholesterol
- Lack of physical activity
- Unhealthy diet, obesity, or overweight
- Family history
How is Acute Coronary Syndrome Diagnosed?
The moment when the doctor will detect the symptoms of the ACS, he/she might immediately refer tests and exams to analyze the condition. As this syndrome can cause many fatal problems in case of delay. The tests which are typically conducted are:
1. Electrocardiogram (ECG): The electrical activity in the heart carried through electrodes attached to the skin are detected through this test. The irregular impulses indicate the poor heart function due to a lack of oxygen to the heart.
2. Blood tests: The blood test is conducted to detect a few kinds of enzymes which causes the heart attack. So, the doctor may conclude further after conducting a proper blood test.
3. Cardiac perfusion scan: This test is ideal for detecting the detecting the damage caused to the heart by analyzing the amount of blood reaching to the heart.
Some other secondary tests the doctor may prefer to run are:
- Coronary angiogram
- Myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI)
- Computerized tomography (CT) angiogram
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What are the Treatments for Acute Coronary Syndrome?
The treatment for ACS is aimed to be provided immediately as a little delay can cause extreme difficulty and prolong troubles. The duration of the treatment process can vary between long and short term which is dependent on the blockage of the arteries and a few other factors. Find the possible treatment measures underlying.
The medication treatment is suggested in order to improve the heart function and avoid future troubles by eliminating all the damage caused in the body. The medications which are prescribed are:
Thrombolytics: There are generally named as clot busters, helps in dissolving a blood clot that’s blocking an artery.
Antiplatelet drugs: These are the drugs which help in preventing the blood clots from forming themselves.
Beta blockers: These helps in relaxing your heart muscle and slow your heart rate, which lowers down your blood pressure.
Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors: These expand blood vessels and improve blood flow, allowing the heart to work more easily and efficiently.
Angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs): These help in controlling the blood pressure.
When the medications fail to heal and cure the troubles caused by the ACS and even the symptoms continue to disrupt. The next solution turns up is surgical measures which are mentioned below.
1. Angioplasty and stenting: A long, tiny tube (catheter) is inserted into the blocked or narrowed part of your artery by the doctor. A wire with a deflated balloon is passed through the catheter to the narrowed area. The inflated balloon help in compressing the plaque deposits against your artery walls.
2. Coronary bypass surgery: In this procedure, the surgeon draws a piece of the blood vessel (graft) from another part of your body and creates a new route for blood that goes around, or bypasses, a blocked coronary artery.
3. Lifestyle Changes: The lifestyle changes like quitting smoking, reducing cholesterol, maintaining proper blood pressure, consuming a healthy diet, avoiding spicy foods and stress management are recommended by the doctor to improve the condition and eliminating the symptoms.
The acute coronary syndrome is a chronic condition which can give birth to many other fatal heart diseases including heart failure. In order to avoid any hassle and dangerous condition, one must not ignore any kind of symptoms and should consult the doctor immediately.
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