Atypical chest pain and panic disorder

Psychother Psychosom. 1989;52(1-3):92-5. doi: 10.1159/000288305.


Cardiovascular symptoms are often present in descriptions of patients with panic disorder, and are considered a central element in current diagnostic criteria. These patients often visit emergency wards complaining of chest pain or discomfort. In many cases, a possible psychiatric diagnosis is not considered, and these patients are often incorrectly diagnosed and treated. The aim of this study is to examine the presence of panic disorder in those patients who visit a general hospital emergency ward with chest pain, and are then released after no organic pathology is found. We present the results obtained from the examination of 112 patients with these characteristics who were given a structured interview developed for the diagnosis of affective and anxiety disorders. In the sample studied, panic disorder was found in 47.3% of the subjects.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Angina Pectoris / diagnosis
  • Angina Pectoris / psychology
  • Angina Pectoris, Variant / psychology
  • Anxiety Disorders / diagnosis
  • Anxiety Disorders / psychology*
  • Chest Pain / psychology*
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neurocirculatory Asthenia / diagnosis
  • Neurocirculatory Asthenia / psychology*
  • Panic*
  • Personality Tests
  • Phobic Disorders / psychology