SCAD is a rare, sometimes fatal, traumatic condition with approximately eighty percent of cases affecting women. The coronary artery can suddenly develop a tear, causing blood to flow between the layers which forces them apart, potentially causing a blockage of blood flow through the artery and a resulting heart attack. The condition may be related to female hormone levels, as it is often seen in post-partum women, or in women during or very near menstruation, but not always. It is not uncommon for SCAD to occur in people in good physical shape and with no known prior history of heart related illness. It is also not uncommon for SCAD to occur in people in their 20's, 30's, and 40's, as well as older.
SCAD's have been known to occur during exercise and at rest. SCAD's are usually diagnosed by angiogram and stenting may be necessary to re-open the artery. A dissection can also occur iatrogenically, during the surgical insertion of a catheter into the coronary artery. Treatment depends on the location and severity of the dissection. Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG) surgery may be necessary in some cases. Some cases may be treated with just medication. Incidences of repeat SCADs seem to be rare, but have happened. There may be a connection between certain connective tissue disorders and SCAD. Your doctor may want to perform tests to rule that out.
This is a rare enough condition that most doctors haven't seen it before, which leaves a SCAD patient with many questions that their doctor may not be able to answer or are only guessing at. Your doctor may be learning as much from you regarding this condition as you are from her/him.
This information was taken from http://www.spontaneouscoronaryarterydissection.com/
See an informative video on SCAD at this site.
I had a SCAD on August 9, 2011. It caused me to have a heart attack. I am age 54, healthy, fit and with no heart disease. I'm starting this group here to increase awareness of SCAD and to EMPOWER women who may have questions about this condition. It's become important enough for the Mayo Clinic to do a long-term study on this. If you have had a SCAD or think you might have, you can find answers through this group.