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Prinzmetal Angina

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Call 911 for Sudden Chest Pain

If you have any sudden or unexplained chest pain, call 911 immediately.

What is Prinzmetal Angina?

Prinzmetal angina, also known as coronary artery vasospasm, is a muscle spasm within the walls of your coronary arteries that decreases blood flow to the heart muscle. This lack of blood flow causes pain in your chest.

Symptoms of Prinzmetal Angina

Prinzmetal angina attacks are often severe and can be very painful. Symptoms include:

  • Chest pressure or a feeling of heaviness in the chest
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Shortness of breath

What Causes Prinzmetal Angina?

These may cause the arteries in your heart to spasm:

  • Certain medications such as migraine treatments or decongestants
  • Drug use
  • Smoking
  • Stress
  • Exercise
  • Extreme exposure to cold

This rare form of angina occurs while you are resting, usually after midnight. This is unlike a typical angina, which is usually triggered by emotional stress or physical exertion.

UR Medicine's Treatments for Prinzmetal Angina

How is Prinzmetal Angina Diagnosed?

Your UR Medicine provider may order the following tests:

  • Blood testing to evaluate damage to the heart muscle
  • Stress tests to rule out significant blockages
  • Heart catheterization to rule out significant blockages

How is Prinzmetal Angina Treated?

You will likely be prescribed medications to relax the muscles in your arteries. These types of medications may include:

  • Nitrates
  • Calcium channel blockers
  • Fluvastatin

In addition, your UR Medicine provider will counsel you and connect you with resources to help live a heart-healthy lifestyle.

What Sets Us Apart?

UR Medicine’s Division of Cardiology leads the region in the number and scope of specialized services offered. We are home to the only heart failure, heart transplant, and cardio-oncology programs in the region. These and many other specialty programs bring the very latest treatment for a wide range of cardiac care issues close to home.

As the region’s only academic medical center, we have exceptionally high standards that help ensure the best results for our patients. Our experts use state-of-the-art technology to identify heart disease and offer treatments and strategies to maximize heart health. Whether you need to control your high blood pressure or seek specialized care for an unusual heart condition, we have the expertise for you.

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