Angina is a medical term used to describe a specific type of chest discomfort caused by inadequate blood flow through the blood vessels (coronary vessels) to the heart muscle (myocardium).
This chest pain is typically occurs during physical or emotional stress, and is relieved by rest or medication (nitroglycerine tablets) within a short period of time (usually 15 minutes). Chest pain of a longer duration (more than 20 minutes) or pain appearing with a lower level of effort than before, even at rest, should be considered as potential warning signs of a heart attack or unstable angina.
Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain.
Discomfort in other areas of the upper body
Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or stomach.
Shortness of breath
This may occur with or without chest discomfort.
These may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea, or lightheadedness
If you or someone you're with has chest discomfort, especially with one or more of the other signs, don't wait longer than a few minutes (no more than 5) before calling for help. Call 911 or your emergency response number. Get to a hospital right away.
Chest pain or angina is discomfort or pain anywhere along the front of the body between the neck and upper abdomen.
There are many tests to diagnose angina. Usually, more than one test is done before a definitive diagnosis can be made. These tests may include:
Medications for angina may include:
Additional treatment may include cardiac rehabilitation.
If medications fail or in more severe cases, physicians may recommend one of the following treatment options:
Important Instructions for Drug-Eluting Stent Patients
Click images to enlarge
Modern Treatments for Heart Attack
- Kris Godlewski, M.D., FACC
- Carla Kingsley, D.O., FACC
- John Ribic, D.O., FACC
- Arrhythmias & Rhythm Problems
- Diseases of the Aorta
- Heart Attacks
- Heart Failure
- Valve Disease
- Non-Invasive Cardiac Tests
- Invasive Cardiac Tests (2 Day Protocol for Myoview/Persantine Stress Test)
- Cardiac Rehabilitation
- Pulmonary Rehabilitation
- American Heart Association