Health Information Management

ACS is only ACS when it's caused by a change in the coronaries

Briefings on Coding Compliance Strategies, July 1, 2008

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When I have written about acute coronary syndrome (ACS) in the past, I have referred to an article published by the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology titled, “Guidelines for Diagnosis and Management of Unstable Angina/Non-ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction (NSTEMI).” The major issue I raised was that unstable angina or NSTEMI can occur from two basic causes:

  • Rupture of a coronary plaque
  • Inadequate delivery of oxygenated blood to the heart at times of need

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