Symptoms & Signs
Spasm may be “silent” — without symptoms — or it may result in chest pain or angina. If the spasm lasts long enough, it may even cause a heart attack.
The main symptom is a type of chest pain called angina, which can be felt under the chest bone and is described as:
It is usually severe. The pain may spread to the neck, jaw, shoulder, or arm.
- Often occurs at rest
- May occur at the same time each day, usually between midnight and 8:00 AM
- Lasts from 5 to 30 minutes
The person may lose consciousness.
Unlike angina that is caused by hardening of the coronary arteries, chest pain and shortness of breath are often not present when you walk or exercise.
Diagnosis & Tests
Tests to diagnose coronary artery spasm may include:
- Coronary angiography
Review Date : 4/28/2009
Reviewed By : Larry A. Weinrauch, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, and Private practice specializing in Cardiovascular Disease, Watertown, MA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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