SCAD is a separation of layers of the coronary artery wall, resulting in intramural haemorrhage and haematoma formation. Coronary insufficiency results due to the narrowing of the coronary artery lumen, from an expanding intramural hameatoma. SCAD may or may not involve an intimal layer tear.
SCAD plays a prominent role in myocardial infarction in women. In total the disease accounts for approximately 1% of all acute myocardial infarctions. However 90% of cases of SCAD occurs in female patients between the ages of 47 and 53. It accounts for up to 20% of myocardial infarctions during pregnancy and is now increasingly being reported in older women.
Although the condition does occur in males, its prevalence is very low.