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Unstable angina happens when blood flow to the heart is suddenly slowed by narrowed coronary arteries. Or small blood clots form in the coronary arteries and slow blood flow. Typically, there is no damage to the heart muscle. It often happens when you are at rest.

You may have had stable angina You knew when to expect your symptoms, such as when you exercised. Stable angina usually goes away when you rest or take your angina medicine. But the symptoms of unstable angina may not go away with rest or medicine. It may get worse or happen at times that it didn’t before. Unstable angina symptoms may mean that you are having a heart attack.

Three types of angina
A heart attack means

A heart attack means

heart attack means a coronary artery has been blocked and the heart has been damaged. Without blood flow and oxygen, part of the heart starts to die.



ACS ranges from a heart attack (myocardial infarction) to unstable angina.

Heart attack (myocardial infarction)

If you have a heart attack, a coronary artery or one of its smaller branches is suddenly blocked. The part of the heart muscle supplied by this artery loses its blood (and oxygen) supply. This part of the heart muscle is at risk of dying unless the blockage is quickly undone. (The word infarction means death of some tissue due to a blocked artery which stops blood from getting past.) In addition to being known as a heart attack, a myocardial infarction is sometimes called a coronary thrombosis.

Heart attack (myocardial infarction)

Three types of angina:

Stable angina

Unstable angina

Variant angina

Classic angina

Crescendo angina

Prinzmetal angina

Three types of angina

Unstable angina

Unstable angina occurs when the blood clot causes a reduced blood flow but not a total blockage. This means that the heart muscle supplied by the affected artery does not die (infarct).



Understanding the heart and coronary arteries

The heart is made mainly of special muscle. The heart pumps blood into blood vessels (arteries) which take the blood to every part of the body.
The coronary arteries supply oxygen-rich blood to the heart If these arteries are narrowed or blocked, the heart does not get enough oxygen.

This can cause angina or a heart attack. The blockage can be sudden and complete, or it can come and go – clot, break open, then clot again. “In either case, the heart tissue is dying, even if it’s just a few cells or a whole big section of the heart,” Bolger said.

Like any other muscle, the heart muscle needs a good blood supply. The coronary arteries take blood to the heart muscle. The main coronary arteries branch off from the aorta. The aorta is the large artery which takes oxygen-rich blood from the heart chambers to the body. The main coronary arteries divide into smaller branches which take blood to all parts of the heart muscle.

Understanding the heart and coronary arteries


The term ‘acute coronary syndrome’ covers a range of disorders, including a heart attack (myocardial infarction) and unstable angina, that are caused by the same underlying problem.
The underlying problem is a sudden reduction of blood flow to part of the heart muscle. This is usually caused by a blood clot that forms on a patch of atheroma within a coronary artery.

What is acute coronary syndrome (ACS)

The types of problems range from unstable angina to an actual myocardial infarction. In unstable angina a blood clot causes reduced blood flow but not a total blockage.

What is acute coronary syndrome (ACS)

Therefore, the heart muscle supplied by the affected artery does not die (infarct). The location of the blockage, the length of time that blood flow is blocked and the amount of damage that occurs determine the type of ACS.



Due to a family history or other risk factors, even a woman who has always thought of herself as perfectly healthy can find herself suddenly experiencing the symptoms of stroke.

What is a stroke

A stroke happens when either a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is blocked by a clot or the vessel bursts. When either of these occur, the brain does not receive the oxygen-rich blood it needs and brain cells begin to die, and quickly. That’s why it’s so important to know the signs and symptoms of stroke.

What is a stroke


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Emirates Cardiac Society (ECS) is a non-profit organization comprising of cardiologists within the UAE that work under the umbrella of the Emirates Medical Association.


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