Chest pain with negative cardiac diagnostic studies. Relationship to psychiatric illness

J Nerv Ment Dis. 1988 Jun;176(6):351-8. doi: 10.1097/00005053-198806000-00004.


A total of 98 patients with chest pain and no prior history of organic heart disease underwent a structured psychiatric interview at the time of cardiac diagnostic testing, either coronary arteriography or exercise treadmill. Patients with negative cardiac test results were significantly younger and more likely to be female, endorsed a greater number of autonomic symptoms with their chest pain, and were more likely to report atypical chest pain. These patients had significantly higher scores on measures of anxiety and negative life events and significantly greater prevalences of DSM-III panic disorder (47% vs. 6%), major depression (39% vs. 8%), and two or more simple phobias (43% vs. 12%) than did patients with cardiac test results demonstrating coronary artery disease. Using logistic regression, a model was developed to estimate the probability of negative cardiac test results from patient characteristics and psychiatric diagnoses.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Angina Pectoris / diagnosis*
  • Angina Pectoris / psychology
  • Coronary Angiography
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Exercise Test
  • Humans
  • Interview, Psychological / methods
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Mental Disorders / psychology
  • Models, Psychological
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Regression Analysis
  • Sex Characteristics