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Stable Angina Pectoris

Clinical Manifestations

Characteristics of Angina

Angina pectoris (see  Chap. 12) is a discomfort in the chest or adjacent areas caused by myocardial ischemia. It is usually brought on by exertion and is associated with a disturbance in myocardial function. Acute MI, which is usually associated with prolonged severe pain occurring at rest (see  Chap. 54), and unstable angina, which is characterized by an accelerated pattern and/or occurrence at rest (see  Chap. 56), are discussed separately. Heberden's initial description of angina as conveying a sense of “strangling and anxiety” is still remarkably pertinent. Other adjectives frequently used to describe this distress include tight, constricting, suffocating, crushing, heavy, and squeezing. In other patients, the quality of the sensation is more vague and described as a mild pressure-like discomfort, an uncomfortable numb sensation, or a burning sensation. The site of the discomfort is usually retrosternal, but radiation …