Chest Pain

Chest pain can be due to a variety of causes, some of which are due to a problem with the heart. ‘Angina’ is a particular type of chest pain, usually described as a heaviness or tightness across the chest, and which is most commonly due to narrowings or blockages in the coronary arteries which give the heart it’s blood supply.   There are three main coronary arteries which run on the surface of the heart and give branches which supply the heart with it’s blood.  If these become narrowed or even blocked, then the heart cannot get enough blood, especially when it has to work a little harder such as when we exert ourselves, and this may result in angina.  Angina is the most common problem experienced by the patient if there are narrowings or blockages of the coronary arteries. The coronary arteries can be checked using a range of tests ranging from a simple exercise test- monitoring the heart whilst the patient walks on a treadmill- to a coronary angiogram.  If there are narrowings or blockages, these may be amenable to treatment with coronary angioplasty- ballooning and positioning metal cages in the arteries called ‘stents’.