How is variant angina diagnosed?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

The symptoms of variant angina-such as sudden pain or pressure in the chest and shortness of breath-are similar to the symptoms of a heart attack. Both of these are conditions needing emergency medical attention and are often diagnosed in the hospital when people go to the emergency room for care. It is difficult to tell by symptoms alone whether the chest pain is variant angina or heart attack, but certain tests help doctors distinguish between causes of chest pain. An electrocardiogram (ECG) gives doctors information about the electrical signal that tells your heart to beat. An ECG test during an episode of variant angina can help doctors know if you are having angina or a heart attack.

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Is Angina Related to Heart Attacks?
Is Angina Related to Heart Attacks?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.