Angina pectoris is a form of coronary artery disease

Angina pectoris is a form of coronary artery disease

Angina pectoris

Angina pectoris is a form of coronary artery disease. The immediate cause of the disease is atherosclerosis of the arteries of the heart, in which the lumen of the heart vessels is narrowed by atherosclerotic plaques (deposits of cholesterol in the artery wall), and the heart receives an insufficient amount of blood, that is, it is in a state of oxygen starvation, which is accompanied by attacks of pain in the heart.


Angina pectoris is manifested by attacks that usually occur during exercise. Less often, they appear in connection with excitement, they can also be caused by going out of a warm room into the cold air, smoking, drinking alcohol, and eating plentiful food. In the intervals between attacks, a person is usually not worried about anything.
It happens that it is perceived as simply heaviness, squeezing, constraint or squeezing. Most often, angina patients describe pain as a “brick on the chest”. A person seeks to stop the load as soon as possible, stop, sit down, breathe fresh air.
The location of the pain is characteristic – behind the sternum, however, it is often felt to the left.
After the termination of the load, the attack passes on its own within 2 to 5 minutes. The fast effect of taking a nitroglycerin tablet under the tongue is characteristic.

Angina pectoris can take many forms.

Angina pectoris can take many forms

Experts distinguish several forms of angina pectoris: stable, unstable, as well as rest angina and exertional angina and, more rarely, variant. Separately, the newly emerging angina pectoris, which almost always requires hospitalization, is distinguished.
The most common form is exertional angina. In this case, attacks occur under stress: usually while walking, running, working, but emotional stress, cold, heat, overeating, etc. can also cause pain.
Resting angina pectoris is called late stages of the disease, when physical activity is so limited that pain can occur without it, that is, at rest. Variant angina pectoris is due to several other reasons: instead of atherosclerotic plaques, spasm of the arteries of the heart plays the main role in its origin. This form is found in younger people.
Stable angina pectoris has the same manifestations from time to time. If the pain from an attack to an attack begins to increase, or acquires new qualities (begins to give to the hand, jaw, etc.), angina pectoris is considered progressive or unstable. Often, these two forms can be harbingers of an approaching heart attack.


Since angina pectoris is one of the possible manifestations of IHD, all complications of these diseases are common.
Myocardial infarction is a frequent companion of ischemic heart disease and angina pectoris, including, but it can also occur in people without previous pain in the heart (in an “empty” place).

First aid for angina

What if you have a seizure?
If chest pain begins during exercise, you need to stop it immediately (as a rule, this happens by itself). Next, you need to sit down, or lie down and take a comfortable position. Unbutton the embarrassing clothes, ask others to open the window (if there is not minus 40 behind it).
If the doctor has prescribed any medicine to relieve the attack (isoket, nitromint), you must first take it in the minimum dose. If there is no effect after 5 minutes, you can take it again. Do not start with large doses right away, as this can be addictive.

When should you call an ambulance?

An ambulance will definitely be needed if the attack lasts more than 10 minutes and does not go away from nitroglycerin, or the pain began to be accompanied by new and unusual symptoms (gives to the jaw, neck, unusually strong, etc.). In this case, it is highly likely that angina pectoris began to progress and hospitalization is required.
Also, an ambulance call is necessary if an attack of chest pain occurs in a person for the first time in his life.

What to do before the doctor arrives?

Before the arrival of an ambulance, it is necessary to help the patient to take such a position of the body that he considers comfortable. Unbutton the collar of the clothes, give fresh air (open the window). It is perfectly safe to give one quarter of an aspirin tablet under the tongue, as well as 20 drops of Corvalol in half a glass of water.

When to give nitroglycerin?


You can only give it to a person if you are sure that the pain is caused by heart problems. Nitroglycerin has many side effects, the most significant of which is a sudden drop in blood pressure. In no case should nitroglycerin be given to a person who is unconscious and unconscious.

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