Chest pain: relationship of psychiatric illness to coronary arteriographic results

Am J Med. 1988 Jan;84(1):1-9. doi: 10.1016/0002-9343(88)90001-0.


Seventy-four patients with chest pain and no prior history of organic heart disease were interviewed with a structured psychiatric interview immediately after coronary arteriography. The majority of patients with both negative and positive coronary angiographies had undergone previous exercise tolerance tests, but the patients with angiographic coronary artery disease were significantly more likely to have had positive results on a treadmill test. Patients with chest pain and negative coronary arteriograms were significantly younger; more likely to be female; more apt to have a higher number of autonomic symptoms (tachycardia, dyspnea, dizziness, and paresthesias) associated with chest pain, and more likely to describe atypical chest pain. Patients with chest pain and normal coronary arteriographic results also had significantly higher psychologic scores on indices of anxiety and depression and were significantly more likely to meet criteria of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, third edition, for panic disorder (43 percent versus 6.5 percent), major depression (36 percent versus 4 percent), and two or more phobias (36 percent versus 15 percent) than were patients with chest pain and a coronary arteriography study demonstrating coronary artery stenosis.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Anxiety Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Chest Pain / psychology*
  • Coronary Angiography*
  • Coronary Disease / diagnostic imaging*
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis*
  • Exercise Test
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interview, Psychological
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Panic
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors