Microvascular Angina

Posted , 8 users are following.

I have been diagnosed with Micro vascular Angina and I know it has been coming on for about 10 years but it took a while to find a doctor who agreed that was what it is.

I have chest pains every time I go outside to do a little work and anytime I exert my upper body too much. I also get out of breath and feel like I have just run a mile.

I had a heart catheterization twice, about 3 years ago and just this February. They are always clear and normal.

I have a lot of pain and discomfort but just have to deal with it. The meds that are used for this all cause my blood pressure to go down dangerously and make me feel like I will faint if I get up. I just came here to see what others have to say about this condition and find out as much as I can about what if anything can be done.

0 likes, 14 replies

14 Replies

  • Posted

    I have the same issues as you do and like you this became increasingly bad over 8 to 10 years. It started with just a slight chest pain when I would go for a walk and start up an incline. Now 10 years later when I just walk up my basement stairs I get a severe chest pain. I have seen 4 different cardiologists and had 3 heart cath's and all showed my heart was fine. My current cardiologist thought I had microvascular disease because we had eliminated everything else. He said he couldn't run a test to confirm it because the hospitals in my area don't have the equipment to do it.....but Mayo Clinic does.....so I went to Mayo about a month ago. They ran multiple tests for 4 days including a endothelial function test (google it) and basically they said they could find nothing wrong with my heart.

    So at this point my cardiologist and I assume I have a microvascular problem because everything else has been eliminated. I wear a nitro patch daily....sometiimes a .1 patch and sometimes a .2 and that helps with the angina pain.

    pslane1....are you using a nitro patch or anything to help with the angina pain?

    • Posted

      Same as me, I keep telling myself those words the doctor said after both caths, "Your heart is fine" while I am having severe pains and hard breathing. Every time I take nitro medications, my blood pressure goes so low, I feel faint. If I stayed on it, I'd be stuck in a chair, fainting every time I try to get up. I still take Ranexa but I'm afraid it's causing the same problem.

      Have you heard of EECP (Enhanced External Counterpulsation? I think if a clinic doing that treatment was nearby I might try it but right now the only ones doing it are too far for me to get to.

    • Posted

      Never heard of EECP...that is a new one on me.

      Just googled it....sounds promising. I am going to see if it is available around where I live.....let me know if you find a place to do it around you.

    • Posted

      I was going to say...I am surprised none of my 4 cardiologists ever mentioned EECP...but they have been no help so far.

    • Posted

      I'm surprised, too. My cardiologist told me about it and says he has another patient who is trying it. The nearest clinic offering it is 100 miles away but if they ever do it at a closer clinic I'm going to seriously consider it. There are lots of good website about it.

    • Posted

      Thanks for the link.

      I also found one about 65 miles away from me....I could drive that every day...5 days a week for 7 weeks....I think!!

      Moderator comment: I have removed the link(s) directing to site(s) unsuitable for inclusion in the forums. If users want this information please use the Private Message service to request the details.

  • Posted

    did you have positive stress tests that led your cardiologists suspect about microvascular angina and did an angiogram right away? or all were based on your symptoms? im curious cause i have symptoms which ive been told they re all anxiety with a negative angiogram and stress tests.

    • Posted

      If you are having micro-vascular angina pains you will know the difference between pain and anxiety. Go to a different doctor. My first one refused to diagnose it, too.

    • Posted

      My symptoms are currently under control by using Isosorbide and Ranolazine.

    • Posted

      Hi! I know this is an older thread, but I also have microvascular disease (40F) and wanted to post my experience in case it's helpful. I first noticed something was up when I started having chest tightness and upper back/jaw discomfort while running in the summer. I already had a cardiologist because I have high cholesterol and Lp(a), and I mentioned the chest tightness in an offhanded way, thinking he would probably say it was the summer heat or stress. Instead, he took it very seriously and sent me for a stress test/echocardiogram, which was abnormal (the attending cardiologist at the hospital told me that my left ventricle wasn't pumping strongly enough under stress). My doctor then ordered a cardiac MRI with a chemical stress component and it showed a perfusion defect around the base of my heart. (Basically, blood isn't getting to a certain area.) I then was referred to another cardiologist who specializes in this stuff and he said he was 95% sure it was microvascular disease, but because of my cholesterol and strong family history of early onset heart disease, he wanted to make sure my bigger coronary arteries were clear using a CT angiogram. That came back totally clear, so he then diagnosed microvascular dysfunction.

      I'm really lucky because I live in a large city and my doctors are at a university hospital with the equipment to handle these specialized tests. Treating my issue is tough, because like the original poster, I have low blood pressure and a low resting heart rate, so I can't tolerate most meds used to treat this without passing out. I'm pretty new to this diagnosis and am still working with my cardiologist to try different things to help manage it. I'm able to run and exercise well using tips he gave me for controlling my heart rate, but I still have days where I just feel terrible -- heavy chest pressure, fatigue, etc. and I don't yet know all the things that trigger it. (Stress is definitely one!)

      Good luck and keep pushing for answers!

  • Posted

    my all tests are negative. no documented ischemia. still had my angio as our healthcare system relies on capitalism. which was negative and i know its almost always negative with microvascular angina. i suspect if its microvascular or prinzmetals. my exercise capacity is nice tho. i can brisk walk for 5 kms with no problems. currently on diltiazem as my bp showed up 140/100 and HR of 100ish when rest. i can give any details just asking is enough

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