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December 3, 1960


JAMA. 1960;174(14):1857. doi:10.1001/jama.1960.03030140079022

Almost two centuries ago, Heberden published his classical description of angina pectoris,1 "Heberden's Angina." Heberden observed later2 that selected clinical examples do not reflect the classic picture. These non-conforming situations have prompted queries, speculations, and descriptions of "atypical types of angina" or "anginal syndromes." In this issue of The Journal, p. 1794, clinical and experimental evidence is presented which furthers our understanding of coronary artery disease. This communication defines a distinct and separate type of angina pectoris that differs from the classic form in meaningful ways. This "variant form of angina pectoris" is a newly delineated syndrome3 which, in addition to not showing the major characteristics of the classic form of the disease, has other important clinical and experimental differences. In this variant form of angina, the subject experiences pain at rest or with ordinary activity. It may appear at night or during the day; it is