Unstable angina

Alternative Names

Accelerating angina; New-onset angina; Angina – unstable; Progressive angina

Definition of Unstable angina

Unstable angina is a condition in which your heart doesn’t get enough blood flow and oxygen. It may be a prelude to a heart attack.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

due to is by far the most common cause of unstable angina. Atherosclerosis is the buildup of fatty material called plaque along the walls of the arteries. This causes arteries to become less flexible and narrow, which interrupts blood flow to the heart, causing chest pain.


Symptoms include:

Signs and tests

The doctor will perform a physical examination and check your . The doctor may hear abnormal sounds, such as a heart murmur or irregular heartbeat, when listening to your chest with a stethoscope.


Your doctor may want you to check into the hospital to get some rest and prevent complications.

Expectations (prognosis)

How well you do depends on many different things, including:


Michael A. Chen, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, Harborview Medical Center, University of Washington Medical School, Seattle, Washington. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 6/21/2010

Coronary artery balloon angioplasty - series

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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