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The pain associated with very advanced Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) is known as angina, and usually presents as a sensation of pressure in the chest, arm pain, jaw pain, and other forms of discomfort. The word discomfort is preferred over the word pain for describing the sensation of angina, because it varies considerably among individuals in character and intensity and most people do not perceive angina as painful, unless it is severe. There is evidence that angina and CHD present differently in women and men.
Angina that occurs regularly with activity, upon awakening, or at other predictable times is termed stable angina and is associated with high grade narrowings of the heart arteries. The symptoms of angina are often treated with nitrate preparations such as nitroglycerin, which come in short-acting and long-acting forms, and may be administered transdermally, sublingually or orally. Many other more effective treatments, especially of the underlying atheromatous disease, have been developed.
Angina that changes in intensity, character or frequency is termed unstable. Unstable angina may precede myocardial infarction, and requires urgent medical attention. It is treated with oxygen, intravenous nitroglycerin, and morphine. Interventional procedures such as Percutaneous Transluminal Coronary Angioplasty may be done.
Posted by Staff at May 16, 2005 7:45 PMblog comments powered by Disqus