Diagnostic Tests for Angina

Angina is a cardiac condition associated with chest pain due to reduced blood flow to the heart. It is important to see a specialist for diagnosis and treatment since the angina can be a sign of another more serious condition, such as coronary heart disease. The board certified cardiology specialists at NOVA Cardiovascular Care in Woodbridge & Stafford, VA, test for angina with ECG and stress testing.


Chest pain is the primary symptom of angina, but some individuals also experience tightness or heaviness in the chest that can spread to the arms, neck, or back. Symptoms often come and go, but should not be ignored even if they subside. It is important to see a cardiologist at our offices in Woodbridge & Stafford, VA, as angina can be a symptom of coronary heart disease. Additionally, having coronary heart disease increases the risk for experiencing a heart attack.


An electrocardiogram (ECG), also referred to as an EKG, is a diagnostic test that measures the heart’s activity. The test is used to diagnose different cardiac and cardiovascular conditions, including angina. An ECG is sometimes also carried out in conjunction with stress testing.

To perform an ECG, electrodes are placed on the chest, arms, and legs. The electrodes are also connected to a machine that monitors and records the activity of the heart. The data gathered during the test helps doctors identify potential cardiovascular concerns, such as an irregular heartbeat or poor blood flow to the heart. Once the issue is diagnosed, a treatment plan can be developed.

Stress Testing

Stress testing involves observing the heart’s activity before, during, and after physical activity or exercise, which usually consists of using a treadmill or stationary bike. An ECG is performed simultaneously to collect data about the activity of the heart throughout the stress test. This allows our cardiology specialists to observe how the heart responds to the stress of moderate physical activity or exercise. Stress testing typically takes between 15-30 minutes.

Treatment for Angina

For patients diagnosed with angina, several options are available for effectively treating the condition. One of the most important steps a patient can take is making lifestyle modifications, such as eating a heart healthy diet and engaging in moderate exercise regularly. Prescription medications are also available to help certain arteries pump more blood to the heart.

Individuals experiencing chest pain should be tested for angina through an ECG or stress testing. Schedule an appointment with one of our skilled cardiology specialists to learn more about diagnostic testing for angina by contacting NOVA Cardiovascular Care in Woodbridge & Stafford, VA. Call (703) 492-6822 for Woodbridge or (540) 628-2173 for Stafford.

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