Variant angina causes sudden pain in the chest, arms, and back. The pain may be severe, or it may feel like pressure, an ache, or fullness in the chest. In variant angina, a coronary artery has had a spasm, causing the artery to narrow. This can be of short or long duration, but is more dangerous the longer it lasts. If the heart does not receive enough blood flow, you may have a heart attack.