Medical Q&As

Angina - diagnosis?

Can angina be diagnosed by symptoms alone?

The diagnosis of angina is based on the patientís description of the symptoms. Angina is usually defined as a tightening chest pain that is brought on by effort and relieved by rest. The usual cause of angina is atherosclerosis or hardening of the coronary arteries. Investigations are performed to establish the extent of the coronary artery disease and also to decide on which form of therapy is most appropriate in a particular patient. Sometimes angina can present in an atypical manner in which case investigations may be necessary to make a diagnosis. However, in the majority of cases a GP or cardiologist would be confident in making a diagnosis of angina on the basis of the history alone.