Exertional gastro-oesophageal reflux: a mechanism for symptoms in patients with angina pectoris and normal coronary angiograms

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed). 1987 Jun 6;294(6585):1459-61. doi: 10.1136/bmj.294.6585.1459.


During 24 hour oesophageal pH monitoring 52 patients who had angina pectoris and normal coronary angiograms underwent exercise testing, as far as their symptoms allowed, on a treadmill to determine whether gastro-oesophageal reflux occurred during exertion. In 11 patients the 24 hour oesophageal pH score was abnormally high; 10 of these showed exertional gastro-oesophageal reflux, and in nine this was associated with their usual chest pain. A further 13 patients had a normal 24 hour pH score but had exertional reflux coincident with chest pain during exercise testing. The mean lower oesophageal sphincter pressure in both of these groups of patients was appreciably lower than that in 28 patients who had a normal 24 hour pH score and no exertional reflux. These findings suggest that exertional gastro-oesophageal reflux accounts for the symptoms of a large proportion of patients who have angina pectoris and normal coronary angiograms and that oesophageal pH monitoring during exercise testing on a treadmill enables this group of patients to be identified.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Angina Pectoris / complications
  • Angina Pectoris / physiopathology*
  • Chest Pain / etiology
  • Coronary Angiography
  • Esophagogastric Junction / physiopathology
  • Exercise Test
  • Female
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / complications
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Physical Exertion*