What are the signs and symptoms of acute coronary syndrome (ACS)?

Updated: Sep 30, 2020
  • Author: David L Coven, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Eric H Yang, MD  more...
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Atherosclerosis is the primary cause of ACS, with most cases occurring from the disruption of a previously nonsevere lesion. Complaints reported by patients with ACS include the following:

  • Palpitations

  • Pain, which is usually described as pressure, squeezing, or a burning sensation across the precordium and may radiate to the neck, shoulder, jaw, back, upper abdomen, or either arm

  • Exertional dyspnea that resolves with pain or rest

  • Diaphoresis from sympathetic discharge

  • Nausea from vagal stimulation

  • Decreased exercise tolerance

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