ST BARTHOLOMEW'S HOSPITAL, LONDON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ST BARTHOLOMEW'S HOSPITAL, LONDON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
A middle-aged man suffering from angina pectoris, an intense pain in the centre of the chest that may spread to the jaw and down the arms. Angina pectoris occurs when the heart's demand for blood exceeds the supply capacity of the coronary arteries and usually results from obstruction of the coronary arteries due to formation of atheroma plaques (atherosclerosis). Drugs used to relieve symptoms include glyceryl trinitrate (GTN) or beta-blockers such as propanolol. Severe cases may require an aorto-coronary bypass operation - the replacement of a section of obstructed coronary artery with a graft from a vein in the leg.
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