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Diseases » Angina » Misdiagnosis
 

Misdiagnosis of Angina

Misdiagnosis of Angina

Regular medical care is the best way to detect angina and heart disease in its earliest stage before they lead to advanced heart disease and critical complications, such as heart attack and heart failure.

It can be difficult to distinguish between the symptoms of angina and the symptoms of a heart attack and other conditions. The only way to determine what is causing symptoms is a thorough medical evaluation. Some symptoms of angina can be vague or similar to symptoms of anxiety, cardiomyopathy, GERD, gallstones, muscle aches, indigestion, pericarditis, thoracic aneurysm, and cardiac arrhythmias....more about Angina »

Angina misdiagnosis: Angina can usually be diagnosed after a proper medical history, however, peptic ulcers, gallbladder inflammation and gastroesophageal reflux may produce chest pain suggestive of angina....more about Angina »

Alternative diagnoses list for Angina:

For a diagnosis of Angina, the following list of conditions have been mentioned in sources as possible alternative diagnoses to consider during the diagnostic process for Angina:

Diseases for which Angina may be an alternative diagnosis

The other diseases for which Angina is listed as a possible alternative diagnosis in their lists include:

Angina: Hidden Causes Misdiagnosed?

Causes of Angina may include these medical conditions:

Angina: Medical Mistakes

Related medical mistakes may include:

Angina: Undiagnosed Conditions

Commonly undiagnosed conditions in related areas may include:

Discussion of diagnosis/misdiagnosis of Angina:

NHLBI, ANGINA: NHLBI (Excerpt)

An episode of angina is not a heart attack. Angina pain means that some of the heart muscle in not getting enough blood temporarily--for example, during exercise, when the heart has to work harder. The pain does NOT mean that the heart muscle is suffering irreversible, permanent damage. Episodes of angina seldom cause permanent damage to heart muscle.

In contrast, a heart attack occurs when the blood flow to a part of the heart is suddenly and permanently cut off. This causes permanent damage to the heart muscle. Typically, the chest pain is more severe, lasts longer, and does not go away with rest or with medicine that was previously effective. It may be accompanied by indigestion, nausea, weakness, and sweating. However, the symptoms of a heart attack are varied and may be considerably milder. (Source: excerpt from NHLBI, ANGINA: NHLBI)

NHLBI, ANGINA: NHLBI (Excerpt)

Not all chest pain is from the heart, and not all pain from the heart is angina. For example, if the pain lasts for less that 30 seconds or if it goes away during a deep breath, after drinking a glass of water, or by changing position, it almost certainly is NOT angina and should not cause concern. But prolonged pain, unrelieved by rest and accompanied by other symptoms may signal a heart attack. (Source: excerpt from NHLBI, ANGINA: NHLBI)

Angina: NWHIC (Excerpt)

Not all chest discomfort is angina. For example, acid reflux (heartburn) and lung infection or inflammation can cause chest pain. (Source: excerpt from Angina: NWHIC)

Common Misdiagnoses and Angina

Heart attacks can be undiagnosed: Although the most severe symptoms of heart attack are hard to miss, there are varying degrees of severity. It is altogether too common for people to die from undiagnosed heart attack, or from delaying too long to call for emergency help. The prognosis for treatment is far better for patients treated in the early stages of a heart attack. The most common misdiagnoses include heartburn, or other less severe causes of chest pain. See the introduction to heart attack and the symptoms of heart attack.

Heart attacks can be overdiagnosed: Although many people die from heart attacks, there are also many cases where people fear that they have a heart attack, but actually have something milder. Some of the conditions which may be causes of chest pain, causing fear of a heart attack, including an anxiety attack, heartburn, and so on. See the causes of chest pain and the symptoms of heart attack.

Rare heart condition often undiagnosed: The rare heart condition called long QT syndrome can lead to episodes of palpitations and rapid heartbeat. In rare cases, this undiagnosed condition can be fatal. It should be considered for any unexplained heart rhythm abnormality.

Heart attack can be over-diagnosed: Although heart attack is often undiagnosed, leading to fatality, it can also be over-diagnosed. People become concerned that a condition is a heart attack, whereas there are various less dangerous possibilities. After all, there are numerous causes of chest pain. Some of the common conditions where a person may become concerned about a possible heart attack include a panic attack (which often has both chest pain and difficulty breathing), and heartburn/reflux type conditions. Nevertheless, chest pain itself can be a potentially life-threatening symptoms, and needs immediate professional attention.

Alzheimer's disease over-diagnosed: The well-known disease of Alzheimer's disease is often over-diagnosed. Patients tend to assume that any memory loss or forgetulness symptom might be Alzheimer's, whereas there are many other less severe possibilities. Some level of memory decline is normal with aging, and even a slight loss of acuity may be noticed in the 30's and 40's. Other conditions can also lead a person to show greater forgetfulness. For example, depression and depressive disorders can cause a person to have reduced concentration and thereby poorer memory retention.

Dementia may be a drug interaction: A common scenario in aged care is for a patient to show mental decline to dementia. Whereas this can, of course, occur due to various medical conditions, such as a stroke or Alzheimer's disease, it can also occur from a side effect or interaction between multiple drugs that the elderly patient may be taking. There are also various other possible causes of dementia.

Tremor need not be Parkinson's disease: There is the tendency to believe that any tremor symptom, or shakiness, means Parkinson's disease. The reality is that there are various possibilities, such as benign essential tremor, which is mostly harmless. see the various causes of tremor and misdiagnosis of Parkinson's disease.

Leg cramps at night a classic sign: The symptom of having leg muscle cramps, particularly at night, is a classic sign of undiagnosed diabetes. However, there are also various other causes. See causes of leg cramps or misdiagnosis of diabetes.

Blood pressure cuffs misdiagnose hypertension in children: One known misdiagnosis issue with hyperension, arises in relation to the simple equipment used to test blood pressure. The "cuff" around the arm to measure blood pressure can simply be too small to accurately test a child's blood pressure. This can lead to an incorrect diagnosis of a child with hypertension. The problem even has a name unofficially: "small cuff syndrome". See misdiagnosis of hypertension.

Rare diseases misdiagnosed as Parkinson's disease: A rare genetic disorder is often misdiagnosed as Parkinson's disease for men in their 50's. The disease Fragile X disorder can show only mild symptoms in the early years, and Parkinsons-like symptoms around age 50. See misdiagnosis of Parkinson's disease.

Hypertension misdiagnosis common in children: Hypertension is often misdiagnosed in adults (see misdiagnosis of hypertension), but its misdiagnosis is even more likely in children. Some of the symptoms of hypertension that can be overlooked include chest pain, headaches, abdominal pain, etc. See symptoms of hypertension or misdiagnosis of hypertension.

Vitamin B12 deficiency under-diagnosed: The condition of Vitamin B12 deficiency is a possible misdiagnosis of various conditions, such as multiple sclerosis (see symptoms of multiple sclerosis). See symptoms of Vitamin B12 deficiency or misdiagnosis of multiple sclerosis.

Angina: Rare Types

Rare types of medical disorders and diseases in related medical areas:

General Misdiagnosis Articles

Read these general articles with an overview of misdiagnosis issues.

About misdiagnosis:

When checking for a misdiagnosis of Angina or confirming a diagnosis of Angina, it is useful to consider what other medical conditions might be possible misdiagnoses or other alternative conditions relevant to diagnosis. These alternate diagnoses of Angina may already have been considered by your doctor or may need to be considered as possible alternative diagnoses or candidates for misdiagnosis of Angina. For a general overview of misdiagnosis issues for all diseases, see Overview of Misdiagnosis.

 

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