What is unstable angina?

Updated: Oct 01, 2020
  • Author: Walter Tan, MD, MS; Chief Editor: Eric H Yang, MD  more...
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Answer

Unstable angina belongs to the spectrum of clinical presentations referred to collectively as acute coronary syndromes (ACSs), which also includes ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) and non-STEMI (NSTEMI). [1, 2] Unstable angina is considered to be an ACS in which there is myocardial ischemia without detectable myocardial necrosis (ie, cardiac biomarkers of myocardial necrosis —such as creatine kinase MB isozyme, troponin, myoglobin—are not released into the circulation). See the image below.

Pathogenesis of acute coronary syndromes. Pathogenesis of acute coronary syndromes.

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