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Conditions & Services / Angina

Cardiologists & Vascular Specialists located in Dallas Fort Worth and the North Texas Region


About Angina

People often confuse angina and chest pain to mean the same thing, but angina refers to a specific type of chest pain. As experienced cardiologists, the team at HeartPlace diagnose and treat angina at 30 locations across the North Texas area. Their advanced diagnostic testing precisely identifies the cause of your pain; then, you receive tailored treatment to ease your symptoms and improve your health. To schedule an appointment, call the nearest office or book online today. 

Angina Q & A

What is angina?

Angina refers to chest pain occurring when your heart doesn't get enough oxygen-rich blood. By comparison, chest pain includes pain from any underlying problem, whether it originates in your heart, lungs, muscles, or other upper body problems.

You may develop one of several types of angina:

Stable angina

Stable angina, the most common type, typically appears when you exercise and goes away at rest. Once you receive a diagnosis of stable angina, medication relieves the pain.

Unstable angina

If you have unstable angina, your chest pain appears more often, causes more severe symptoms, and occurs with minimal activity or while at rest. Medication seldom improves unstable angina. Unstable angina may signal a heart attack.

Variant angina (Prinzmetal's angina)

This rare type of angina occurs when a spasm in a heart artery reduces blood flow. In most cases, it appears while at rest and causes severe pain.

What heart conditions cause stable and unstable angina?

Stable and unstable angina develops due to coronary artery disease. However, a blood clot may also affect blood flow in the coronary arteries. Unstable angina may appear before or during a heart attack.

Coronary artery disease occurs when cholesterol and other fats build up in the arterial wall. Without treatment, the fatty deposit (plaque) enlarges and hardens. Over time, the plaque narrows the coronary artery and restricts blood flow to your heart muscles.

Without enough blood, the muscles don't have the oxygen needed to function. As a result, chest pain occurs when exercise makes the heart muscles work harder.

Will I have other symptoms together with angina?

In addition to chest pain, you may experience:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Indigestion
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Pain or discomfort in your shoulders, neck, jaw, or back

Your chest pain may feel like pressure, tightness, heaviness, or squeezing.

How is angina diagnosed?

After evaluating your symptoms, your HeartPlace provider runs blood tests and may perform diagnostic tests such as:

  • Electrocardiogram (EKG)
  • Stress testing
  • Echocardiogram
  • Coronary calcium scoring
  • Cardiac CT angiography
  • Cardiac catheterization

Cardiac catheterization is a minimally invasive procedure that allows your provider to perform several tests and treatments.

How is angina treated?

Your treatment might involve lifestyle changes, medications, and minimally invasive procedures to open the blocked coronary artery. 

For example, your provider may perform a coronary angioplasty to push the plaque back against the arterial wall and restore circulation. At the same time, they insert a stent to help keep the artery open.

If you experience angina, don't wait to schedule an evaluation. Call HeartPlace or book an appointment online today.