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A Journal on Internal Medicine
Indexed/Abstracted in: BIOSIS Previews, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
Impact Factor 1,6
Panminerva Medica 2002 March;44(1):61-7
The esophageal chest pain. An update for clinicians
Durazzo M., Premoli A., Pellicano R. *, Oliaro A. **
From the Department of Internal Medicine University of Turin, Turin, Italy
*UOADU Gastro-Hepatology Molinette Hospital, Turin, Italy
**Department of Thoracic Surgery University of Turin, Turin, Italy
Chest pain is a common symptom and even when there is evidence of only minor obstructive coronary artery disease on angiography, it leads to disability and imposes a substantial economic burden on health care system. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and esophageal dysmotility disorders are thought to play an important role in the genesis of non-cardiac chest pain. Its pathogenetic mechanism remains unclear.
The esophageal origin of the symptom may be identified by an aggressive trial of high-dose antisecretory drugs or an abnormal prolonged ambulatory pH monitoring study. Endoscopy is often normal and less useful in this population than in those with heartburn as presenting symptom. The use of manometry, with provocative testing to evaluate for esophageal motility abnormalities or esophageal sensitivity, allows optimal evaluation of those who do not have GERD. Patients with non-cardiac chest pain of unknown origin should be carefully screened for the occurrence of esophageal disorders but further research is needed to clarify the role of the latter on the pathogenesis of this symptom.