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Vojnosanitetski pregled 2010 Volume 67, Issue 7, Pages: 530-536
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Psychiatric syndromes associated with atypical chest pain

Nikolić Gordana, Tasić Ivan, Manojlović Snežana, Samardžić Ljiljana, Tošić Suzana, Ćirić Zoran

Background/Aim. Chest pain often indicates coronary disease, but in 25% of patients there is no evidence of ischemic heart disease using standard diagnostic tests. Beside that, cardiologic examinations are repeated several times for months. If other medical causes could not be found, there is a possibility that chest pain is a symptom of psychiatric disorder. The aim of this study was to determine the presence of psychiatric syndromes, increased somatization, anxiety, stress life events exposure and characteristic of chest pain expression in persons with atypical chest pain and coronary patients, as well as to define predictive parameters for atypical chest pain. Method. We compared 30 patients with atypical chest pain (E group) to 30 coronary patients (K group), after cardiological and psychiatric evaluation. We have applied: Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI), The Symptom Checklist 90-R (SCL-90 R), Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI), Holms-Rahe Scale of stress life events (H-R), Questionnaire for pain expression Pain-O-Meter (POM). Significant differences between groups and predictive value of the parameters for atypical chest pain were determined. Results. The E group participants compared to the group K were younger (33.4 ± 5.4 : 48.3 ± 6,4 years, p < 0.001), had a moderate anxiety level (20.4 ± 11.9 : 9.6 ± 3.8, p < 0.001), panic and somatiform disorders were present in the half of the E group, as well as eleveted somatization score (SOM ≥ 63 -50% : 10%, p < 0.01) and a higher H-R score level (102.0 ± 52.2 : 46.5 ± 55.0, p < 0.001). Pain was mild, accompanied with panic. The half of the E group subjects had somatoform and panic disorders. Conclusion. Somatoform and panic disorders are associated with atypical chest pain. Pain expression is mild, accompained with panic. Predictive factors for atypical chest pain are: age under 40, anxiety level > 20, somatization ≥ 63, presence of panic and somatoform disorders, H-R score > 102, and a lack of positive diagnostic test of coronary disease. Defining of these parameters could be useful for early psychiatric evaluation of persons with atypical chest pain.

Keywords: mental disorders, chest pain, comorbidity

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