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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Is this angina pectoris or heart attack ?

A friend is climbing astairs he felt shortining of breath pain in chest left arm .He took rest ? pain disappeared within5 minutes is this angina pectoris or heart attack?
Wed, 16 Dec 2009
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  User's Response
From your description of your friend's symptoms he/she experienced Angina. Angina is a pain or discomfort in the chest or adjacent areas caused by insufficient blood flow to the heart muscle. This chest pain is relieved by rest or medication within a short period of time (usually 15 minutes). The issue involved here is the myocardial oxygen demand since your friend climbed the stairs. Chest pain of a longer duration or pain appearing with a lower level of effort than before, even at rest, should be considered unstable angina. I advise that your friend should go to ER or to a doctor immediately so he/she can undergo cardiac specific tests such as 12 lead EKG, cardiac serum markers, stress test, heart catheterization and even an echocardiogram to determine the correct diagnosis. American Heart Association suggest that a person needs to go to ER within 4 hrs after the onset of chest pain to save the heart muscle. Remember Time is Muscle!
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