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Unstable angina pectoris (0)

The traditional term of unstable angina was first used 3 decades ago and was meant to signify the intermediate state between myocardial infarction (MI) and the more chronic state of stable angina. The old term, preinfarction angina, conveys the clinical intent of intervening to attenuate the risk of myocardial infarction or death. Patients with this condition have also been categorized according to their presentation, diagnostic test results, or course over time; these categories include new-onset angina, accelerating angina, rest angina, early postinfarct angina, and early postrevascularization angina.

For the pragmatic purposes of this article, the term unstable angina includes non–Q-wave myocardial infarction (NQMI) because this cannot be confirmed or excluded during the initial contact with the patient. Acute coronary syndromes cover an even wider spectrum, and by some definitions include Q-wave or transmural myocardial infarction.