Chest pain and shortness of breath in a collegiate basketball player: case report and literature review

Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1992 May;24(5):504-9.


An 18-yr-old college freshman basketball player at a Division I university suffered chest pain, dyspnea, and dizziness followed by syncope while running a 400-m dash. After an extensive multidisciplinary workup that eliminated all organic causes, the patient, an only child from a remote rural area, was found to be suffering from panic attacks with mild features of agoraphobia. Exertional chest pain is a common complaint in young athletes. The etiologies are myriad and can be referable to many organ systems; however, the cause is usually benign. Psychogenic origin is uncommon but must be considered when organic causes have been ruled out and the patient's social history is suggestive.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Agoraphobia / complications
  • Basketball*
  • Chest Pain / etiology*
  • Chest Pain / psychology
  • Dyspnea / etiology*
  • Dyspnea / psychology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Panic Disorder / complications*
  • Running