Critical review of unstable angina and non-ST elevation myocardial infarction

Postgrad Med J. 2002 Dec;78(926):717-26. doi: 10.1136/pmj.78.926.717.


Within the coronary vasculature the progression of a stable atherosclerotic plaque into a vulnerable and ultimately unstable lesion leads to a cascade of events culminating in the clinical presentation of unstable angina or acute myocardial infarction. In recent years studies have provided new insights in to the pathology and natural history, stimulating advances in diagnosis, treatment, and management. The review discusses the progress made including the role of inflammation, cardiac biomarkers, antiplatelet therapy, and percutaneous intervention. Current issues of debate and future directions are also addressed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Angina, Unstable / etiology
  • Angina, Unstable / therapy*
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Cardiac Catheterization / methods
  • Coronary Artery Disease / complications
  • Coronary Artery Disease / pathology
  • Fibrinolytic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Myocardial Infarction / etiology
  • Myocardial Infarction / prevention & control*
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Assessment
  • Terminology as Topic
  • Thrombolytic Therapy / methods


  • Biomarkers
  • Fibrinolytic Agents