Symptoms & Signs
- Sudden chest pain that may also be felt in the shoulder, arm, jaw, neck, back, or other area
- Pain that feels like tightness, squeezing, crushing, burning, choking, or aching
- Pain that occurs at rest and does not easily go away when using medicine
If you have stable angina, you may be developing unstable angina if the chest pain:
- Starts to feel different
- Lasts longer than 15 – 20 minutes
- Occurs at different times
Diagnosis & Tests
The doctor will perform a physical examination and check your blood pressure. The doctor may hear abnormal sounds, such as a heart murmur or irregular heartbeat, when listening to your chest with a stethoscope.
Tests to diagnose angina include:
- Blood tests to check the levels of creatine phosphokinase (CPK), myoglobin, and troponin I and T (markers of heart muscle injury)
- Stress tests
- Exercise or chemically-induced stress test (adenosine, dobutamine)
- Non-imaging (exercise treadmill) or imaging (nuclear stress test, echo stress test)
- Heart CT scan
- Coronary angiography (taking pictures of the heart arteries using x-rays and dye; it is the best test to diagnose significant heart disease)
Pictures & ImagesCoronary artery balloon angioplasty – series
Review Date : 4/23/2009
Reviewed By : Steven Kang, MD, Division of Cardiac Pacing and Electrophysiology, East Bay Arrhythmia, Cardiovascular Consultants Medical Group, Oakland, CA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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