What is the difference between angina and angina pectoris?

The term angina is generally used to indicate angina pectoris, which is pain and constriction about the heart, caused by insufficient supply of blood due to partially blocked arteries of the heart.
The pain usually radiates to the left shoulder and down the left arm. Sometimes, the pain radiates from the heart to the abdomen. Pain may also radiate to the back or the jaw.

What does the term angioplasty mean?

Altering the structure of a blood vessel, either by a surgical procedure, or by dilating the vessel using a balloon inside the lumen is called as angioplasty.

What is an angiography and why is it performed?

The procedure of radiographic examination of the coronary arteries, after injection of a contrast medium, to determine the degree of blockage is known as angiography.

What is arteriosclerosis and how does it affect the heart?

Arteriosclerosis is the hardening of the arteries, or when the arteries lose their elasticity. It is important in the case of the heart, as the arteriosclerosis of the coronary arteries becomes a source of low blood supply to it.

Is atherosclerosis different from arteriosclerosis and how?

Atherosclerosis is a specific type of arteriosclerosis in which there is an accumulation of fats, cholesterol and other substances (plaque) in the artery walls, which causes them to narrow and restrict the flow of the blood.

What is meant by cardiovascular disease?

This is a general term that is used to cover all the heart and blood vessel related diseases and disorders.

What is cholesterol and why do we need it?

Cholesterol is a substance manufactured by the liver in our body. It is an essential building block for healthy nerves, cell walls, and the production of some hormones.
A high-level of cholesterol in the blood stream (serum cholesterol), carries the risk of atherosclerosis, and consequently heart disease.

What is a bypass, or coronary artery bypass (CAB)?

A CAB, or commonly known as a bypass, is a surgically established shunt (connection or short cut), that allows the blood to travel from the aorta, to a branch of the coronary artery, at a point past the obstruction.

Is coronary artery disease (CAD) the same as coronary heart disease CHD)?

No. Coronary artery disease (CAD) relates to the narrowing of the coronary artery, while coronary heart disease (CHD) is the condition of lack of supply of oxygen to the heart muscle, which may be due to the CAD.

What is coronary artery stenting and what are its benefits?

Stenting is a procedure in which a small, expandable wire-mesh tube (called stent) is inserted into a narrowed coronary artery to hold it open. This procedure was first introduced in the mid-1980s.
Reduced chest pain, reduced angina, lower risk of heart attack and less risk of the stented artery re-closing (re-stenosis), are some of the advantages achieved by the improved blood supply due to stenting of the affected coronary artery.

Are coronary thrombosis and heart attack different?

Some people equate the two terms, but clinically, the blocking of one or more of the coronary arteries of the heart by a thrombus (a blood clot within a blood vessel) is known as coronary thrombosis, and the resulting pain and damage to the heart muscle is a heart attack.

What is myocardial infarction (heart attack)?

Myocardial infarction is when an area of myocardium (heart muscle) undergoes necrosis (death) following cessation of blood supply to that area. In common terms, it is known as heart attack.

What is plaque?

A plaque is a stiff collection of lipids (mostly cholesterol) in the blood vessel walls. Plaque can narrow the vessel, or can tear, causing a clot to form, eventually blocking the vessel.


Cholesterol is an essential substance needed for normal functioning in the body. To travel through the bloodstream, cholesterol has to be transported by helper molecules called lipoproteins.

Low-Density Lipoproteins (LDL Cholesterol)

The low-density lipoproteins are the ones that carry cholesterol in the body. If your body has more cholesterol than it needs, the excess keeps circulating in your blood.
LDL cholesterol is small enough to cross the blood vessel walls and enter tissues, where it has a tendency to deposit the cholesterol in the vessel lining and cause plaques. This is why LDL cholesterol is known as “bad cholesterol”.

High-Density Lipoproteins (HDL Cholesterol)

These lipoproteins are often referred to as HDL, or “good cholesterol”. They act as cholesterol scavengers, picking up excess cholesterol in the blood, and taking it back to your liver where it’s broken down. The higher your HDL level, the less bad cholesterol you’ll have in your blood.


Although it is commonly advised to lower one’s cholesterol, it’s important to raise HDL (good cholesterol), and reduce LDL (bad cholesterol).

Harmful Dietary Fat

There are two main types of potentially harmful dietary fat:

  • Saturated fat: This is a type of fat that comes mainly from animal sources of food, such as red meat, poultry and full-fat dairy products. Saturated fat raises total blood cholesterol levels, and unhealthy LDL cholesterol levels, which can increase risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Trans fat: This is a type of fat that occurs naturally in some foods, but is mostly made from oils through a food processing method called partial hydrogenation. These fats can increase unhealthy LDL cholesterol and lower HDL cholesterol

Most fats that have a high percentage of saturated fat, or that contain trans fat, are solid at room temperature.

Healthy Dietary Fat

There are three main sources of beneficial dietary fat:

  • Monounsaturated fatty acids: This type of fat is found in a variety of foods and oils, and eating foods rich in monounsaturated fatty acids improves blood cholesterol levels, decreasing the risk of heart disease. It is also helpful in managing diabetes
  • Polyunsaturated fatty acids: This type of fat is found mostly in plant- based foods and oils, and eating it improves blood cholesterol levels, decreasing the risk of heart disease. It is also helpful in managing diabetes
  • Omega-3 fatty acids: This type of polyunsaturated fat, found in some types of fatty fish, is especially beneficial to your heart and decreases the risk of coronary artery disease.


Updated: September, 2018
All information has been presented for better understanding and general information purposes only.Maximum care has been taken for its authenticity, however it should not be considered as comprehensive or complete. The information provided is not intended as a means of diagnosing a health problem or determining treatment. Therefore, it is not meant as a substitute for the advice provided by your doctor.