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Medical News & Perspectives
October 4, 2000

New Guidelines for Common Cardiac Disease

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JAMA. 2000;284(13):1639. doi:10.1001/jama.284.13.1639-JMN1004-3-1

New guidelines to help physicians quickly diagnose and treat two related forms of heart disease have just been issued jointly by the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and the American Heart Association (AHA).

The guidelines concern unstable angina and non–ST segment elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI). Both conditions can appear identical in their early stages and cause people to head to the emergency department, but people with NSTEMI experience permanent myocardial injury, whereas in those with unstable angina, ischemia is not initially severe enough to cause irreversible damage.