Angina is a form of chest discomfort that generally occurs when you exert yourself; often occurring when running up a flight of stairs, walking up hills, when feeling particularly stressed or when doing more than usual. The discomfort may take the form of chest tightness, pressure, pain or shortness of breath. It can also be brought on in cold weather. It may suggest that one or more of the arteries that supply blood to your heart are narrowed. This is potentially very serious and you should seek medical advice. Experiencing the same symptoms at rest may indicate unstable angina or a heart attack and immediate medical attention should be sought by calling 999 to get early assessment.
Although the diagnosis of angina can be strongly suggestive by the symptoms, there are certain tests that are performed to make a positive diagnosis. Usually, an ECG is performed at baseline followed by either an exercise test, stress echocardiogram, a CT Coronary Angiogram or Cardiac MRI. An invasive coronary angiogram procedure may be needed and your Consultant will discuss with you which option is best for you.
Treatment options available include medication to control or reduce risk factors such as raised cholesterol, or intervention which may be in the form of angioplasty or stent insertion to unblock the restricted arteries or surgery (coronary artery bypass grafting).
This is a biodegradable device that can be used like a coronary stent. [READ MORE]
This test shows how the heart, lungs and muscles react when exercise is undertaken. [READ MORE]
This minimally invasive procedure is used to visualise the coronary arteries and assess the severity of any blockage. [READ MORE]
This minimally invasive procedure is used to treat narrowing of the coronary arteries. [READ MORE]
This scan is used to ascertain the risk of a heart attack or stroke within the next 5-10 years. [READ MORE]
An ECG is a simple test that looks at the electrical activity of the heart. [READ MORE]
This test measures the effects on the heart rhythm and blood pressure when exercise is undertaken. [READ MORE]
These scans enable cardiologists to view detailed images of the heart’s anatomy. [READ MORE]
This is a procedure that uses ‘echo’ and ECG to assess how the heart’s blood vessels are working using either exercise or a drug to increase the heart rate. [READ MORE]