Overview of the acute management of unstable angina and non-ST elevation myocardial infarction
- Jeffrey A Breall, MD, PhD
Jeffrey A Breall, MD, PhD
- Professor of Clinical Medicine
- Indiana University School of Medicine
- Julian M Aroesty, MD
Julian M Aroesty, MD
- Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine
- Harvard Medical School
- Michael Simons, MD
Michael Simons, MD
- Robert W Berliner Professor of Medicine
- Yale University School of Medicine
- Section Editors
- Christopher P Cannon, MD
Christopher P Cannon, MD
- Section Editor — Coronary Heart Disease
- Professor of Medicine
- Harvard Medical School
- James Hoekstra, MD
James Hoekstra, MD
- Section Editor — Adult Cardiology Emergencies
- Professor and Fredrick Glass Chair
- Wake Forest University
- Donald Cutlip, MD
Donald Cutlip, MD
- Section Editor — Interventional Cardiology
- Professor of Medicine
- Harvard Medical School
- Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Unstable angina (UA), acute non-ST elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI), and acute ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) are the three presentations of acute coronary syndromes (ACS). The first step in the management of patients with ACS is prompt recognition, since the beneficial effects of therapy are greatest when performed soon after hospital presentation. For patients presenting to the emergency department with chest pain suspicious of an ACS, the diagnosis of MI can be confirmed by the electrocardiogram and serum cardiac biomarker elevation; the history is relied upon heavily to make the diagnosis of unstable angina. (See "Criteria for the diagnosis of acute myocardial infarction" and "Initial evaluation and management of suspected acute coronary syndrome (myocardial infarction, unstable angina) in the emergency department".)
Once the diagnosis of either UA or an acute NSTEMI is made, the acute management of the patient involves the simultaneous achievement of several goals:
●Relief of ischemic pain (see 'Initial medical therapy' below)
●Assessment of the patient's hemodynamic status and correction of abnormalities. Hypertension and tachycardia, both of which will markedly increase myocardial oxygen consumption requirements, may be managed with beta blockers and intravenous nitroglycerin.
●Estimation of risk (see 'Early risk stratification' below)
- Tatum JL, Jesse RL, Kontos MC, et al. Comprehensive strategy for the evaluation and triage of the chest pain patient. Ann Emerg Med 1997; 29:116.
- Ornato JP. Chest pain emergency centers: improving acute myocardial infarction care. Clin Cardiol 1999; 22:IV3.
- Gibler WB. Evaluation of chest pain in the emergency department. Ann Intern Med 1995; 123:315; author reply 317.
- Cannon CP, Hand MH, Bahr R, et al. Critical pathways for management of patients with acute coronary syndromes: an assessment by the National Heart Attack Alert Program. Am Heart J 2002; 143:777.
- Bassan R, Pimenta L, Scofano M, et al. Probability stratification and systematic diagnostic approach for chest pain patients in the emergency department. Crit Pathw Cardiol 2004; 3:1.
- Herzog E, Saint-Jacques H, Rozanski A. The PAIN pathway as a tool to bridge the gap between evidence and management of acute coronary syndrome. Crit Pathw Cardiol 2004; 3:20.
- Goldberg RJ, McCormick D, Gurwitz JH, et al. Age-related trends in short- and long-term survival after acute myocardial infarction: a 20-year population-based perspective (1975-1995). Am J Cardiol 1998; 82:1311.
- Roger VL, Jacobsen SJ, Weston SA, et al. Trends in the incidence and survival of patients with hospitalized myocardial infarction, Olmsted County, Minnesota, 1979 to 1994. Ann Intern Med 2002; 136:341.
- Alexander KP, Newby LK, Cannon CP, et al. Acute coronary care in the elderly, part I: Non-ST-segment-elevation acute coronary syndromes: a scientific statement for healthcare professionals from the American Heart Association Council on Clinical Cardiology: in collaboration with the Society of Geriatric Cardiology. Circulation 2007; 115:2549.
- Bayer AJ, Chadha JS, Farag RR, Pathy MS. Changing presentation of myocardial infarction with increasing old age. J Am Geriatr Soc 1986; 34:263.
- Paul SD, O'Gara PT, Mahjoub ZA, et al. Geriatric patients with acute myocardial infarction: Cardiac risk factor profiles, presentation, thrombolysis, coronary interventions, and prognosis. Am Heart J 1996; 131:710.
- Mehta RH, Rathore SS, Radford MJ, et al. Acute myocardial infarction in the elderly: differences by age. J Am Coll Cardiol 2001; 38:736.
- Stone PH, Thompson B, Anderson HV, et al. Influence of race, sex, and age on management of unstable angina and non-Q-wave myocardial infarction: The TIMI III registry. JAMA 1996; 275:1104.
- Alexander KP, Roe MT, Chen AY, et al. Evolution in cardiovascular care for elderly patients with non-ST-segment elevation acute coronary syndromes: results from the CRUSADE National Quality Improvement Initiative. J Am Coll Cardiol 2005; 46:1479.
- Amsterdam EA, Wenger NK, Brindis RG, et al. 2014 AHA/ACC guideline for the management of patients with non-ST-elevation acute coronary syndromes: executive summary: a report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines. Circulation 2014; 130:2354.
- Sy F, Basraon J, Zheng H, et al. Frequency of Takotsubo cardiomyopathy in postmenopausal women presenting with an acute coronary syndrome. Am J Cardiol 2013; 112:479.
- Moradkhan R, Sinoway LI. Revisiting the role of oxygen therapy in cardiac patients. J Am Coll Cardiol 2010; 56:1013.
- Shuvy M, Atar D, Gabriel Steg P, et al. Oxygen therapy in acute coronary syndrome: are the benefits worth the risk? Eur Heart J 2013; 34:1630.
- Cabello JB, Burls A, Emparanza JI, et al. Oxygen therapy for acute myocardial infarction. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2013; :CD007160.
- Bennett MH, Lehm JP, Jepson N. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy for acute coronary syndrome. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2015; :CD004818.
- Meine TJ, Roe MT, Chen AY, et al. Association of intravenous morphine use and outcomes in acute coronary syndromes: results from the CRUSADE Quality Improvement Initiative. Am Heart J 2005; 149:1043.
- Kubica J, Adamski P, Ostrowska M, et al. Morphine delays and attenuates ticagrelor exposure and action in patients with myocardial infarction: the randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled IMPRESSION trial. Eur Heart J 2016; 37:245.
- Hobl EL, Stimpfl T, Ebner J, et al. Morphine decreases clopidogrel concentrations and effects: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. J Am Coll Cardiol 2014; 63:630.
- Parodi G, Valenti R, Bellandi B, et al. Comparison of prasugrel and ticagrelor loading doses in ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction patients: RAPID (Rapid Activity of Platelet Inhibitor Drugs) primary PCI study. J Am Coll Cardiol 2013; 61:1601.
- Patti G, Cannon CP, Murphy SA, et al. Clinical benefit of statin pretreatment in patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention: a collaborative patient-level meta-analysis of 13 randomized studies. Circulation 2011; 123:1622.
- Patti G, Pasceri V, Colonna G, et al. Atorvastatin pretreatment improves outcomes in patients with acute coronary syndromes undergoing early percutaneous coronary intervention: results of the ARMYDA-ACS randomized trial. J Am Coll Cardiol 2007; 49:1272.
- Chobanian AV, Bakris GL, Black HR, et al. The Seventh Report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure: the JNC 7 report. JAMA 2003; 289:2560.
- Pitt B, Loscalzo J, Ycas J, Raichlen JS. Lipid levels after acute coronary syndromes. J Am Coll Cardiol 2008; 51:1440.
- Goyal A, Spertus JA, Gosch K, et al. Serum potassium levels and mortality in acute myocardial infarction. JAMA 2012; 307:157.
- Selker HP, Beshansky JR, Sheehan PR, et al. Out-of-hospital administration of intravenous glucose-insulin-potassium in patients with suspected acute coronary syndromes: the IMMEDIATE randomized controlled trial. JAMA 2012; 307:1925.
- Martí-Carvajal AJ, Simancas-Racines D, Anand V, Bangdiwala S. Prophylactic lidocaine for myocardial infarction. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2015; :CD008553.
- Amsterdam EA, Wenger NK, Brindis RG, et al. 2014 AHA/ACC Guideline for the Management of Patients with Non-ST-Elevation Acute Coronary Syndromes: a report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines. J Am Coll Cardiol 2014; 64:e139.
- Effects of tissue plasminogen activator and a comparison of early invasive and conservative strategies in unstable angina and non-Q-wave myocardial infarction. Results of the TIMI IIIB Trial. Thrombolysis in Myocardial Ischemia. Circulation 1994; 89:1545.
- Cannon CP, Weintraub WS, Demopoulos LA, et al. Comparison of early invasive and conservative strategies in patients with unstable coronary syndromes treated with the glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibitor tirofiban. N Engl J Med 2001; 344:1879.
- Invasive compared with non-invasive treatment in unstable coronary-artery disease: FRISC II prospective randomised multicentre study. FRagmin and Fast Revascularisation during InStability in Coronary artery disease Investigators. Lancet 1999; 354:708.
- Lagerqvist B, Säfström K, Ståhle E, et al. Is early invasive treatment of unstable coronary artery disease equally effective for both women and men? FRISC II Study Group Investigators. J Am Coll Cardiol 2001; 38:41.
- Wallentin L, Lagerqvist B, Husted S, et al. Outcome at 1 year after an invasive compared with a non-invasive strategy in unstable coronary-artery disease: the FRISC II invasive randomised trial. FRISC II Investigators. Fast Revascularisation during Instability in Coronary artery disease. Lancet 2000; 356:9.
- de Araújo Gonçalves P, Ferreira J, Aguiar C, Seabra-Gomes R. TIMI, PURSUIT, and GRACE risk scores: sustained prognostic value and interaction with revascularization in NSTE-ACS. Eur Heart J 2005; 26:865.
- Lee B, Chang AM, Matsuura AC, et al. Comparison of cardiac risk scores in ED patients with potential acute coronary syndrome. Crit Pathw Cardiol 2011; 10:64.
- Antman EM, Cohen M, Bernink PJ, et al. The TIMI risk score for unstable angina/non-ST elevation MI: A method for prognostication and therapeutic decision making. JAMA 2000; 284:835.
- Borzak S, Cannon CP, Kraft PL, et al. Effects of prior aspirin and anti-ischemic therapy on outcome of patients with unstable angina. TIMI 7 Investigators. Thrombin Inhibition in Myocardial Ischemia. Am J Cardiol 1998; 81:678.
- Fox KA, Dabbous OH, Goldberg RJ, et al. Prediction of risk of death and myocardial infarction in the six months after presentation with acute coronary syndrome: prospective multinational observational study (GRACE). BMJ 2006; 333:1091.
- Tang EW, Wong CK, Herbison P. Global Registry of Acute Coronary Events (GRACE) hospital discharge risk score accurately predicts long-term mortality post acute coronary syndrome. Am Heart J 2007; 153:29.
- Anderson HV, Cannon CP, Stone PH, et al. One-year results of the Thrombolysis in Myocardial Infarction (TIMI) IIIB clinical trial. A randomized comparison of tissue-type plasminogen activator versus placebo and early invasive versus early conservative strategies in unstable angina and non-Q wave myocardial infarction. J Am Coll Cardiol 1995; 26:1643.
- Eagle KA, Guyton RA, Davidoff R, et al. ACC/AHA 2004 guideline update for coronary artery bypass graft surgery: a report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines (Committee to Update the 1999 Guidelines for Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery). Circulation 2004; 110:e340.
- Bugiardini R, Manfrini O, De Ferrari GM. Unanswered questions for management of acute coronary syndrome: risk stratification of patients with minimal disease or normal findings on coronary angiography. Arch Intern Med 2006; 166:1391.
- Diver DJ, Bier JD, Ferreira PE, et al. Clinical and arteriographic characterization of patients with unstable angina without critical coronary arterial narrowing (from the TIMI-IIIA Trial). Am J Cardiol 1994; 74:531.
- Roe MT, Harrington RA, Prosper DM, et al. Clinical and therapeutic profile of patients presenting with acute coronary syndromes who do not have significant coronary artery disease.The Platelet Glycoprotein IIb/IIIa in Unstable Angina: Receptor Suppression Using Integrilin Therapy (PURSUIT) Trial Investigators. Circulation 2000; 102:1101.
- GENERAL PRINCIPLES
- Elderly patients
- Cocaine-associated myocardial infarction
- INITIAL MEDICAL THERAPY
- Anti-ischemic and analgesic therapy
- - Oxygen
- - Nitroglycerin
- - Morphine
- - Beta blockers
- - Statin therapy
- Antithrombotic therapy
- - Antiplatelet therapy
- - Anticoagulation
- - Importance of dosing
- Potassium and magnesium
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
- Intravenous glucose-insulin-potassium
- ARRHYTHMIA PREVENTION AND MANAGEMENT
- EARLY RISK STRATIFICATION
- TIMI risk score
- GRACE risk score
- EARLY REPERFUSION AND REVASCULARIZATION
- Avoidance of fibrinolysis
- Immediate angiography and revascularization
- - MI with normal coronary arteries