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Variant Angina

Symptoms of Variant Angina

Severe chest pain is the main symptom of variant angina. People with symptoms of the condition usually feel a pressure-like pain in or around the:
  • Chest
  • Shoulders
  • Jaw
  • Neck
  • Back
  • Arms.
It may feel like a squeezing, pressing sensation in the chest.
Other symptoms of variant angina can include:
  • Indigestion or heartburn-type sensation
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sweating
  • Lightheadedness
  • Weakness.
The severe pain or discomfort associated with variant angina:
  • Usually occurs at rest
  • Occurs between midnight and early morning hours
  • Is relieved by angina medicine.

Diagnosing Variant Angina

In order to diagnose this condition, your healthcare provider will ask a number of questions and perform a physical exam, looking for signs and symptoms. He or she will also recommend certain tests and/or procedures, such as an electrocardiogram (EKG) and a cardiac catheterization.
During the cardiac catheterization, the doctor will look for any artery that spasms when chest pain occurs. If he or she cannot find a suspect artery, medicine may be given that provokes a susceptible artery to spasm.
Before making a variant angina diagnosis, the healthcare provider will consider other conditions that can cause similar symptoms. Some of these conditions include:
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