Slideshows Images Quizzes

Copyright © 2018 by RxList Inc. RxList does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. See additional information.

Definition of Variant angina

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Variant angina: Chest pain due to coronary artery spasm, a sudden constriction of a coronary artery (one of the vessels that supply the heart muscle with blood rich in oxygen) depriving the heart muscle (myocardium) of blood and oxygen. This is also called Prinzmetal angina.

Coronary artery spasm can be triggered by emotional stress, medicines, street drugs (cocaine) or exposure to cold. Treatments include beta-blocker medications and, classically, nitroglycerin to permit the coronary arteries to open up (dilate).

Reviewed on 12/27/2018

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors