Types of Angina
Angina: Types list
The list of types of Angina mentioned in various sources includes:
- Stable angina - a regular pattern of angina; the most common type.
- Unstable angina - a new, irregular or changed pattern of angina. Needs urgent medical attention for possible heart attack or heart disease.
- Prinzmetal's angina (variant angina) - caused by vasospasm.
- Microvascular angina - caused by small blood vessels rather than artery damage.
NHLBI, ANGINA: NHLBI (Excerpt)
What is the difference between "stable" and "unstable"
It is important to distinguish between the typical stable pattern of angina
and "unstable" angina.
Angina pectoris often recurs in a regular or characteristic pattern. Commonly
a person recognizes that he or she is having angina only after several episodes
have occurred, and a pattern has evolved. The level of activity or stress that
provokes the angina is somewhat predictable, and the pattern changes only
slowly. This is "stable" angina, the most common variety.
Instead of appearing gradually, angina may first appear as a very severe
episode or as frequently recurring bouts of angina. Or, an established stable
pattern of angina may change sharply; it may by provoked by far less exercise
than in the past, or it may appear at rest. Angina in these forms is referred to
as "unstable angina" and needs prompt medical attention.
The term "unstable angina" is also used when symptoms suggest a heart attack
but hospital tests do not support that diagnosis. For example, a patient may
have typical but prolonged chest pain and poor response to rest and medication,
but there is no evidence of heart muscle damage either on the electrocardiogram
or in blood enzyme tests.
Are there other types of angina?
There are two other forms of angina pectoris. One, long recognized but quite
rare, is called Prinzmetal's or variant angina. This type is caused by
vasospasm, a spasm that narrows the coronary artery and lessens the flow of
blood to the heart. The other is a recently discovered type of angina called
microvascular angina. Patients with this condition experience chest pain but
have no apparent coronary artery blockages. Doctors have found that the pain
results from poor function of tiny blood vessels nourishing the heart as well as
the arms and legs. Microvascular angina can be treated with some of the same
medications used for angina pectoris. (Source: excerpt from NHLBI, ANGINA: NHLBI)
Angina: NWHIC (Excerpt)
There are two main kinds of angina—common or stable angina
and unstable angina. Both kinds of angina mean an increased risk
of heart attack, but unstable angina is often a major warning sign that a
heart attack can happen soon.
People with common or stable angina have episodes of chest discomfort
that usually occur in an expected pattern. Common angina occurs when you
are exerting more than usual activity (such as running to catch a bus) or
are under mental and emotional stress. The level of activity or stress
that causes the angina is somewhat predictable, and the pattern changes
only slowly. Resting or relaxing usually eases the discomfort.
Unstable angina, instead of appearing gradually, may first appear as a
very severe episode or as frequently recurring bouts of angina. The chest
pain of unstable angina is unexpected and usually occurs at rest, or may
wake a person in the night. Sometimes an established stable pattern of
angina may change sharply. For example, it may be provoked by far less
exercise than in the past. Unstable angina should be treated as an
emergency because it can lead quickly to a heart attack, dangerous heart
rhythms, or even sudden death. (Source: excerpt from Angina: NWHIC)
Angina: NWHIC (Excerpt)
There are two other forms of angina. One, Prinzmetal's or
variant angina, is quite rare, but causes discomfort almost
always when a person is at rest. It is caused by a spasm that narrows the
coronary artery and lessens the flow of blood to the heart. The other is
called microvascular angina. This type of angina occurs in people
who have chest pain but have no apparent coronary artery blockage. The
pain from microvascular angina results from poorly functioning blood
vessels. Microvascular angina can be treated with the same medicines as
common angina. (Source: excerpt from Angina: NWHIC)
Angina: Rare Types
Rare types of medical conditions and diseases in related medical categories:
Angina: Related Disease Topics
More general medical disease topics related to Angina include:
Research More About Angina
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