Medical Specialty >> Cardiology

Doctors Lounge - Cardiology Answers

Back to Cardiology Answers List

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. Doctors Lounge ( does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on the Site. 

DISCLAIMER: The information provided on is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her physician. Please read our 'Terms and Conditions of Use' carefully before using this site.

Date of last update: 10/20/2017.

Forum Name: Cardiology Symptoms

Question: Angina or MI?

 aini eddy - Fri Feb 28, 2003 10:30 am

How can i differentiate between angina pectoris and myocardial infarction just from looking at the symptoms?
Referred pain at left shoulder..what does that imply?

Thanx for helping.
 Dr. Yasser Mokhtar - Fri Feb 28, 2003 7:31 pm

User avatar Dear Aini,

Thank you very much for using our website.

The only thing that differentiates angina from myocardial infarction is blood testing to know whether or not the heart sustained damage. These blood tests measure substances present in the heart muscle and which are released into the blood when the heart muscle dies. So, if these substances are elevated, then damage did occur and this is a heart attack, if not elevated then these blood tests have to redone in six hours as some times release of these substances in the blood is delayed to make sure that there was no delay release of these substances.

Referred pain at left shoulder implies that this is one the characteristics of the cardiac pain and sometimes helps to differentiate other causes of chest pain.

Once more, thank you very much for using our website and i hope that this information helped.

Yasser Mokhtar, M.D.

| Check a doctor's response to similar questions

Are you a Doctor, Pharmacist, PA or a Nurse?

Join the Doctors Lounge online medical community

  • Editorial activities: Publish, peer review, edit online articles.

  • Ask a Doctor Teams: Respond to patient questions and discuss challenging presentations with other members.

Doctors Lounge Membership Application

Tools & Services: Follow DoctorsLounge on Twitter Follow us on Twitter | RSS News | Newsletter | Contact us