Three years later, Scottish physician Sir Thomas Lauder Brunton brought together all prior research on amyl nitrite and outlined the compound’s medical applications. At the start of his career as a physician, while making his rounds at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary on a cold December night, he noticed a patient whose bouts of angina pectoris were concerningly severe, frequent, and long-lasting. One of the most common symptoms of cardiac disease, angina pectoris is chest pain that occurs when the heart muscle is starved of blood. From bloodletting to brandy, agents typically used to ease that anguish weren’t helping. Exhausted of all options, and suspecting that an overly-tense artery caused the angina, Brunton put several drops of amyl nitrite onto a cloth and had the patient inhale it.