angina

angina pectoris

[pek-tuh-ris]

Spasm of chest pain, caused when the heart's oxygen demand temporarily outpaces its blood supply, usually because of coronary heart disease. A deep, viselike pain in the heart and stomach area commonly spreads to the left arm. Exertion or emotional stress can bring on angina, obliging the victim to rest until the pain subsides. If rest does not help, drugs can dilate the blood vessels. As heart disease worsens, angina recurs with less exertion.

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The English word angina (which comes intact from Latin) refers to a painful constriction or tightness somewhere in the body, and may refer to:

  • Angina pectoris, chest pain due to ischemia (a lack of blood and hence oxygen supply) of the heart muscle
  • Abdominal angina, postprandial abdominal pain that occurs in individuals with insufficient blood flow to meet visceral demands
  • Ludwig's angina, a serious, potentially life-threatening infection of the tissues of the floor of the mouth
  • Prinzmetal's angina, a syndrome typically consisting of cardiac chest pain at rest that occurs in cycles
  • Vincent's angina, trench mouth, infection of the gums leading to inflammation, bleeding, deep ulceration and necrotic gum tissue
  • Angina tonsillaris, an inflammation of the tonsils

Other uses of the word angina include:

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