Unstable angina



Unstable angina

Cardiovascular system

Cardiovascular system

Cardiovascular system

Cardiovascular system


Unstable angina


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USMLE® Step 1 questions

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Unstable angina

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USMLE® Step 1 style questions USMLE

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A 52-year-old man comes to the clinic due to an episode of chest pain and shortness of breath. The patient describes substernal chest pain that started suddenly when he was walking up the stairs and resolved after a few minutes of rest. Medical history includes type 2 diabetes mellitus and hypercholesterolemia. The patient does not use tobacco, alcohol, or illicit drugs. The patient’s temperature is 36.5°C (97.7°F), pulse is 80/min, respirations are 20/min, and blood pressure is 130/85 mmHg. He does not appear to be in distress. Physical examination shows normal heart sounds with no murmurs or gallops heard on auscultation. Which of the following sets of findings would most likely be seen in this patient if diagnostic investigations had been obtained during the episode of pain?  

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Unstable angina p. 310, 316


Unstable angina is a serious medical condition that requires immediate attention, as it is considered a medical emergency. It occurs when the blood flow to the heart is suddenly blocked or reduced, leading to chest pain or discomfort. Unstable angina is different from stable angina, which usually occurs during physical activity or emotional stress and goes away with rest or medication. Unlike stable angina, unstable angina is unpredictable and can occur at any time, even at rest. Nitroglycerin can provide temporary relief, but it does not address the underlying cause of the condition. Treatment for unstable angina may include medications, lifestyle changes, and medical procedures such as angioplasty or coronary artery bypass surgery.


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