Definition Coronary artery spasm is a temporary, sudden narrowing of one of the coronary arteries (the arteries that supply blood to the heart). The spasm slows or stops blood flow through the artery and starves part of the heart of oxygen-rich blood. Alternative Names Variant angina; Angina - variant; Prinzmetal's angina Causes, incidence, and risk factors The spasm often occurs in coronary arteries that have not become hardened due to plaque buildup ( atherosclerosis ). However, it also can occur in arteries with plaque buildup. A contraction (squeezing) of muscles in the artery wall causes these spasms in the arteries. The contraction occurs in just one area of the artery. The coronary artery may appear normal during angiography , but it does not function normally. Coronary artery spasm affects approximately 4 out of 100,000 people. About 2% of patients with angina have coronary artery spasm. Coronary artery spasm occurs most commonly in people who smoke or who have high cholesterol or high ...
Vascular spasms temporary limit blood flow to tissue supplied by that vessel. The most common symptom is pain. Other symptoms are caused by lack of proper circulation and will vary depending on the specific organ affected:
When the spasm affects circulation in a limb, there may be pallor and a sensation of cold in that arm or leg. Limb function and movement will be impaired.
When the spasm affects circulation in the heart, there may be symptoms similar to a heart attack and irregular heartbeats. Other names for chest pain resulting from vascular spasm are Prinzmetal's angina and variant angina.
Signs and tests
These vary depending on the affected organ.
Can Are my frequent headaches and stomach pains related?
Hi, I am a 21-year old female who suffers from many headaches. It seems like I have been battling headaches for as long as I remember. When I was younger, I would get such bad headaches that I would cry all night long because I was in so much pain, enough that I wouldn't get any sleep. At that time, my family doctor told me that the cause of my headaches was my lack of vision and that I needed glasses. Now, I have been wearing glasses for over 15 years, and my headaches are still very present. And that's the least of it because I often get very bad migraines as well. They are bad enough that I feel dizzy, nauseous, and basically I am in a lot of pain. Light bothers me, loud noises bother me, and etc. For a 21-year old, I may be wrong, but it doesn't seem right. I shouldn't be getting so many headaches/migraines right? It's almost daily now, and that's not all as well. Now when I get my headaches, I have a ...
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