Advertisement

How is unstable angina diagnosed?

The symptoms of unstable 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 for doctors to tell by symptoms alone whether the chest pain is unstable angina or heart attack, but certain tests can help. An electrocardiogram (ECG) gives doctors information about the electrical signal that tells your heart to beat. Irregularities in this electrical signal can show that you are having a heart attack, rather than an episode of unstable angina. Blood tests can also help doctors tell the difference between angina and heart attack.

Continue Learning about Angina

Understanding Chest Pain (Angina Pectoris)
Understanding Chest Pain (Angina Pectoris)
What is angina pectoris? Angina is temporary pain or discomfort in the chest that occurs when not enough oxygen-carrying blood reaches your heart musc...
Read More
What causes angina?
Diana MeeksDiana Meeks
Coronary artery disease (CAD) is frequently the cause of angina. In coronary artery disease, arterie...
More Answers
How can warming up help prevent exercise-induced angina?
Anthony L. Komaroff, MDAnthony L. Komaroff, MD
A fascinating occurrence called the "warm-up phenomenon" has puzzled doctors for decades. In the...
More Answers
What Is Stable Angina?
What Is Stable Angina?

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.