Chest Pain: Risk Factor, Diagnosis and Treatment
Angina pectoris refers to the chest pain or discomfort which is felt when the heart muscles are not supplied with a sufficient amount of oxygen-rich blood. It may be perceived as a heart attack with squeezing or pressure in the chest and even as indigestion. The discomfort can also be felt in other areas like the neck, jaw, shoulder, arms, or back part between the shoulder blades.
Vishesh Jupiter Hospital, the best heart hospital in Indore provides special services for chest pain patients which includes blood tests, imaging techniques, exercise tests, and electrocardiogramsunder the supervision of best cardiac surgeon in Indore. The chest pain units emphasize all high-risk patients and provide them with fast-track services and even low-risk patients to carefully evaluate and treat them.
Types of Angina:
- Microvascular angina: It is a chest pain that is not associated with coronary artery blockage rather it occurs due to not proper working of the smallest coronary arteries. Mostly the women are affected by this type of angina with pain lasting usually for more than 10 minutes.
- Prinzmetal’s angina (variant angina):It is a rarely occurring chest pain that typically happens at night when the person rests or sleeps because of sudden tightness (spasms) or narrowing of arteries of the heart.
- Stable angina:It is the most common chest pain usually triggered by some physical activity or stress. This type of angina can last for few minutes and fade away when the person rests. It could be a warning sign of a heart attack.
- Unstable angina:It is the chest pain felt while the person is at rest or less active. The pain is usually long-lasting and strong and can return several times. It could be associated with different conditions like acute coronary syndromes that result in suddenly reduced blood flow to the heart. A person having this type of angina could be having a heart attack.
Causes and risk factors:
Angina is the most common symptom of coronary artery disease wherein the blockage or narrowing of coronary arteries results in limited blood flow (oxygen-deprived) to the heart muscles. The blockage can either be due to plaque build-up (atherosclerosis) orthe formation of blood clots in the coronary arteries. Chest pain can also be related to other conditions like musculoskeletal and gastroesophageal disorders or anxiety syndromes.
Less common causes of angina include:
- Aortic stenosis- narrowing of heart valve
- Pulmonary embolism- an obstruction in the major artery of the lungs
- Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy- thickened or enlarged heart
- Aortic dissection- tearing of the aorta wall
- Pericarditis-inflamed pericardium (sac covering the entire heart)
People can be at high risk of having angina if they have any of the following risk factors:
- Anemia: fewer RBCs in the blood to carry oxygen
- Old age
- High blood cholesterol
- Smoking or chewing tobacco
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Family history of heart disease
The doctor first conducts a physical examination of the patients and knows about their medical family history, symptoms, and risk factors. Some tests mightbe recommended such as EKG (to measure the electrical activity and rhythm of the heart), blood tests (to check for troponins which are released more because of heart damage), stress test (to check heart working during exercise), imaging tests (like Chest X-rays, CT scans, MRI scans, and Echocardiograms), coronary angiography (to create an image of the blood vessels and spot any clots or blockages), and cardiac catheterization (to check for blood flow and pressure).
There are two primary treatment goals for angina pectoris. One aims to reduce risk and improve prognosis by slowing the progression of coronary artery disease and the other aims to minimize the symptoms and enhance the life quality.
The treatment modalities include:
Lifestyle modifications- These can improve the risk factors of angina. Smoking sensation, daily exercises, a heart-healthy diet, and stress management are some of the ways to make it possible.
Medications- These include statins, beta-blockers, blood-thinners or anti-platelet drugs, calciumchannels, or nitrate blockers.
Cardiac procedures- If medications and lifestyle changes won’t work, then surgery might be needed to treat the blockage of arteries by angioplasty/stenting or CABG surgery. Angina can also be relieved by non-invasive procedures like Enhanced external counterpulsation (EECP) to boost blood flow to the heart.
Cardiac rehabilitation- After surgery or a heart attack and stroke, the cardiac specialist in Indore may recommend medically supervised programs that aim to improve the cardiovascular health of the patient.
Heart problems can be life-threatening and require immediate medical care. Schedule an appointment with the best cardiologist doctor in Indore at Vishesh Jupiter Hospital if one is experiencing any chest pain or discomfort or other heart problems.