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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.

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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.



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.

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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.

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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.