Angina Pectoris

One of the most vital topics in your Biology curricula, noting this medical issue is also important for better healthcare. Read on to understand this health condition better and consequently also take better care of your physical issues which might arise from the same.

Define Angina Pectoris 

Angina Pectoris meaning is the ischemia-induced chest pain. Lack of oxygenated blood to the heart causes spasm or obstruction to coronary arteries. Notably, repeated anginas is an indication of a potential heart attack.

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Image: Blocked artery leading to Angina Pectoris

Classification of Angina Pectoris 

The different types of Angina Pectoris are –

  1. Stable Angina 

It is the most common type of angina where symptoms become apparent on a regular basis such as chest pain and breathlessness while climbing up a flight of stairs. Symptoms are mostly seen in case of exertion.

  1. Unstable Angina 

The symptoms are less frequent but more severe. Chest pain lasts longer than usual and requires immediate testing. It is more likely to be a precursor to cardiac arrest.

  1. Microvascular Angina 

Even though this has angina-like chest pain, the causes are somewhat different. It arises from lack of proper functioning blood vessels in the heart, legs and arms. In such cases, diagnosis is difficult. 

Do You Know?

Even though Angina Pectoris can lead to extreme physical discomfort, an individual does not stand to lose his or her life. It is an indicator of a potential fatality like cardiac arrest. 

Angina Pectoris Causes 

The causes are lack of passage of oxygenated blood and clogging of coronary arteries. Cholesterol may be deposited in the wall of arteries forming cholesterol plaque. Accumulation of such plaques causes narrowing of arteries. Such a problem hinders proper movement of oxygenated blood. Angina or chest pain is caused due to lack of oxygen.

Angina Pectoris Symptoms 

The major symptoms are –

  • Feeling of pressure, tightening, heaviness or aching across the chest.

  • Pain may spread to arms, neck, jaw and back.

  • Heartburn 

  • Indigestion 

  • Weakness

  • Nausea 

  • Sweating 

  • Cramping

  • Shortness of breath 

Angina can also be aggravated by medications, excessive thyroid replacement, vasodilators and polycythemia, among others.

Angina Pectoris Diagnosis 

1. Angiogram 

It is a non-invasive procedure using intravenous dye containing iodine along with CT scanning for imaging arteries. 

2. Cardiac Catheterisation 

The technique includes taking an X-ray picture of coronary arteries that may show a narrowing of arteries.

3. Stress Echocardiography 

Stress echocardiography is a combination of exercise stress testing, along with heart muscle ultrasound imaging. It has been found to have higher accuracy. 

4. Exercise Stress Test 

Exercise Stress Test may include bicycle testing or exercise treadmill for the detection of coronary artery disease. The recordings are taken while the patient performs the exercise. 

Angina Pectoris Treatment 

The most effective medicine is nitroglycerin as it is a vasodilator that helps in greater oxygen passage to the muscles in the heart. The treatment of Angina Pectoris is to provide relief or slow down the symptoms. Its objective is to reduce the progression of the condition. Vasodilators such as isosorbide mononitrate are used to treat chronic stable angina. Ivabradine acts as an antianginal and anti-ischemic. 

Test Your Knowledge 

i. Angina Pectoris Occurs in which Organ Owing to Lack of Oxygenated Blood?

(a) Lungs 

(b)  Liver 

(c)  Heart 

(d)  Brain 

ii. Which of the Following Procedures Indicate Movement of Blood in Heart?

(a) Coronary artery bypass

(b) Stent 

(c) Angioplasty 

(d) Angiography

Solutions: i. (c) Heart, ii. (d) Angiography

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FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What is Angina Pectoris Definition?

Ans. The discomfort or chest pain due to coronary heart disease owing to lack of oxygenated blood in heart muscles or ischemia is called Angina Pectoris. 

2. How is Angina Pectoris Diagnosed?

Ans. Different tests like angiography, chest CT, electrocardiogram, etc. are conducted to diagnose this physical condition. 

3. What are the Symptoms of Angina Pectoris and what are its Treatment? 

Ans. The physical condition of Angina includes chest pain due to lack of oxygen in the heart. It is usually a result of blocked arteries obstructing passage of oxygen-rich blood. Early diagnosis is important to reduce the chance of heart attack. The specific medicine for its treatment is nitroglycerin.