[Functional cardiovascular symptoms]

Dtsch Med Wochenschr. 2022 Apr;147(10):604-612. doi: 10.1055/a-1554-1706. Epub 2022 May 11.
[Article in German]


This review provides an update on the diagnosis, differential diagnosis and management of functional cardiovascular symptoms. Typical heart-related symptoms like non-cardiac chest pain and palpitations are frequently complemented by other symptoms like dyspnea, sweating, trembling, dizziness and also further somatic symptoms like pain and fatigue. Functional cardiac symptoms are frequent, with rates of up to 30 % in chest pain units. The differential diagnosis comprises gastrointestinal disorders like gastro-esophageal reflux disease and also mental disorders, particularly panic and other anxiety disorders. Successful management depends on an attitude of realizing and confirming the reality and seriousness of the symptoms despite the absence of a clear structural organic cause. Good cooperation with psychotherapists is helpful for stepped care strategies that start with supportive communication with the patient and biopsychosocial self-help activities, leading, if necessary, to formal psychotherapy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anxiety Disorders / complications
  • Anxiety Disorders / diagnosis
  • Anxiety Disorders / psychology
  • Chest Pain / diagnosis
  • Chest Pain / etiology
  • Chest Pain / therapy
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Humans
  • Panic Disorder*
  • Psychotherapy