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J Clin Gastroenterol. 2005 Nov-Dec;39(10):858-62.

Noncardiac chest pain: the role of the cardiologist--a national survey.

Author information

1
Neuro-Enteric Clinical Research Group, Section of Gastroenterology, Southern Arizona VA Health Care System, 3601 South Sixth Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85723, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The current assumption is that noncardiac chest pain (NCCP) patients diagnosed by a cardiologist are commonly referred to a gastroenterologist for further evaluation. Thus far, there are no studies that assess the clinical approach and referral patterns of cardiologists when evaluating subjects with NCCP.

AIM:

To determine the extent of involvement of cardiologists in the management of NCCP patients.

METHODS:

Cardiologists were randomly selected from the American College of Cardiology national membership list and sent a 20-item questionnaire that included demographic information, characteristics of practice, preferences of diagnostic tests, referral patterns, and treatment plans.

RESULTS:

A total of 246 (33%) cardiologists returned the questionnaire. A mean of 12.6% of patients were diagnosed with NCCP and 45.5% were treated by a cardiologist in the past 6 months. Of the NCCP patients that were referred, most ended up in the primary care physician clinic (45.9%) followed by gastroenterologist clinic (29.3%). Most cardiologists are either comfortable (35%) or very comfortable (43.1%) in diagnosing NCCP. Proton pump inhibitors (44.9%), lifestyle modifications (28.7%), and H2 blockers (11.8%) are the three most commonly used therapeutic modalities for NCCP.

CONCLUSION:

Cardiologists manage about half of the diagnosed NCCP patients by themselves. Of those NCCP patients that are referred, cardiologists prefer to send them to a primary care physician rather than a gastroenterologist.

PMID:
16208108
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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