Angina Pectoris: Meaning, Diagnosis and Overview

What is Angina Pectoris?

A condition marked by severe pain in the chest, often also spreading to the shoulders, arms, and neck, owing to an inadequate blood supply to the heart. The most common symptom of heart disease is angina or angina pectoris or simply chest pain. Angina can be described as a discomfort, heaviness, pressure, aching, burning, fullness, squeezing, or painful feeling due to heart disease. Men are at higher risk than women. There are various types of angina like stable, unstable, Printzmetals (variant) etc.
Hyperlipedemia symptoms

Recovery Time

  • It varies from patient to patient.
  • Pain is relieved in a few minutes to 3 months.
  • Patients who have undergone surgery may take longer.


  • Medical history
  • Physical examination
  • ECG
  • Blood tests
  • Cardiac MRI and CT scan
  • Chest X-ray
  • Stress tests
  • Coronary angiography
  • Echocardiogram
  • Cardiac catheterization

FAQs prepared by doctor

Q1.  What is Angina Pectoris?
Angina Pectoris or Angina is the pain originating in the region of heart due to decreased supply of blood to the heart muscle. It usually radiates to the left arm or the neck or back. It is a precursor symptom of heart attack. Angina can be reversible with medication or it can go in for heart attack depending upon the severity of atherosclerotic heart disease. Angina can rarely be due to spasm of the coronary arteries causing transient decreased blood flow to the heart. This form is mostly seen in females.

Q2.  How do I know it is angina pectoris?
There may be other causes for chest pain such as Acidity/GERD or musculoskeletal pain. An ECG at the time of pain will help us in differentiating the Anginal pain from other pains. If the ECG is normal and the pain occurs frequently then a treadmill test or CT coronary angiogram is done (for patients who cannot run on treadmill eg. Asthma, Osteoarthritis) to know the extent of coronary artery disease.  

Q3.  What is the treatment for angina pectoris?
The treatment depends upon the severity of the coronary artery disease causing Angina. CT coronary angiogram is a new non-invasive method of determining the severity of coronary artery disease. Angioplasty (stent) or CABG (Open heart surgery) is performed as per the severity of the disease. Mild disease is treated medically.

Q4.  How do I prevent Angina?
You can prevent Angina by taking all precautions to prevent Coronary artery disease. Avoid being overweight / sedentary lifestyle, avoid junk / fatty food. Do regular aerobic exercise. Quit smoking. Keep Diabetes, Hypertension, cholesterol and stress under good control.

Q5.  What are the complications of Angina?
Angina can sometimes be very critical leading to heart attack and death within 6hours of onset of symptoms, if immediate treatment is not given.

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