, Volume 99, Issue 8, pp 475-481,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 21 Apr 2010

Definitions and incidence of cardiac syndrome X: review and analysis of clinical data


There is no consensus regarding the definition of cardiac syndrome X (CSX). We systematically reviewed recent literature using a standardized search strategy. We included 57 articles. A total of 47 studies mentioned a male/female distribution. A meta-analysis yielded a pooled proportion of females of 0.56 (n = 1,934 patients, with 95% confidence interval: 0.54–0.59). As much as 9 inclusion criteria and 43 exclusion criteria were found in the 57 articles. Applying these criteria to a population with normal coronary angiograms and treated in 1 year at a general hospital, the attributable CSX incidence varied between 3 and 11%. The many inclusion and exclusion criteria result in a wide range of definitions of CSX and these have large effects on the incidence. This shows the need for a generally accepted definition of CSX.