Angina & Heart Attack

Angina & Heart Attack services offered in San Fernando Valley, Encino, CA

Angina and heart attack go hand in hand, with angina (chest pain) among the most well-known heart attack symptoms. The team at Cardiac PET Partners, located in Encino, California, provides cardiac positron emission tomography (PET) scans and other diagnostic tests to check the function of your heart and evaluate your heart attack risk. Learn more about testing for angina and heart attack by scheduling an appointment over the phone or online at Cardiac PET Partners today.

Angina & Heart Attack Q & A

What is angina?

Angina is a medical term for heart-related chest pain. While chest pain isn’t always a sign of danger, it’s something you shouldn’t ignore, especially if it’s severe. While pain in your chest can indicate issues like gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) that don’t relate to your heart, angina most often refers to chest pain that specifically comes from a lack of oxygen to your heart muscle.

Sometimes, angina comes with symptoms other than the pain, pressure, or discomfort itself. You might also experience:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Symptoms similar to acid reflux
  • Discomfort in your shoulders or arms
  • Neck and jaw discomfort

Angina is not a diagnosis itself, but a symptom of heart problems. Usually, it’s a sign of coronary heart disease (CHD), but other conditions can cause it too. 

What is a heart attack?

A heart attack happens when your heart loses its blood supply. Angina is just one of many possible symptoms or signs of a heart attack. It’s a medical emergency, so you should seek medical help right away if you have symptoms. 

Often, heart attacks happen after years of buildup within your arteries. The narrowing of your arteries is called atherosclerosis, and it develops because of the buildup of fat and cholesterol along the artery walls. 

Sometimes, pieces of the waxy substance lining the walls of your arteries break off and flow through your vessels, with blood clots forming around them. 

If one of these blood clots makes it to your heart, it can cause a true blockage and prevent your heart from getting the oxygen it needs to function. 

What should I do in the event of angina and heart attack symptoms?

If you or someone you know experiences angina and other possible symptoms of a heart attack, you should seek medical help right away. Cardiac PET Partners assists in your diagnosis by providing imaging tests to evaluate your heart. 

A 3D positron emission tomography (PET) scan creates an image of your heart in just 25-35 minutes at Cardiac PET Partners. Upon evaluating your scans, your provider tells you their implications. 

Once the initial evaluation is complete, your provider might suggest coming in for follow-up scans as a way of helping prevent or detect future heart problems.

If you have symptoms like angina, your provider might also suggest a stress test at Cardiac PET Partners to evaluate your heart’s blood flow at rest versus during physical activity.

Find out more about angina and heart attack by scheduling an evaluation over the phone or online at Cardiac PET Partners today.