What are the types of Angina?

Updated at: Jan 14, 2013
What are the types of Angina?
Editorial Team
Heart HealthWritten by: Editorial TeamPublished at: Jan 03, 2013

The types of angina are stable, unstable, variant (Prinzmetal's), and microvascular. Knowing how the types differ is important. This is because they have different symptoms and require different treatments.


Stable Angina

Stable angina is the most common type of angina. It occurs if the heart is working harder than usual. Stable angina has a regular pattern.


If you know you have stable angina, you can learn to recognize the pattern and predict when the pain will occur. The pain usually goes away a few minutes after you rest or take your angina medicine.

Stable angina isn't a heart attack, but it suggests that a heart attack is more likely in the future.

Unstable Angina

Unstable angina doesn't follow a pattern. It can occur with or without physical exertion, and it may not be relieved by rest or medicine.


Unstable angina is very dangerous and requires emergency treatment. This type of angina is a sign that a heart attack may happen soon.

Variant (Prinzmetal's) Angina

Variant angina is rare. It usually occurs while you're at rest, and the pain can be severe. Variant angina usually happens between midnight and early morning. Medicine can relieve this type of angina.


Microvascular Angina

Microvascular angina can be more severe and last longer than other types of angina; medicine may not relieve it. This type of angina may be a symptom of coronary MVD.



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