Original Article

Child Psychiatry & Human Development

, Volume 44, Issue 6, pp 742-750

First online:

Panic Disorder in Children and Adolescents with Noncardiac Chest Pain

  • Michal Achiam-MontalAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Ben Gurion University of the Negev
  • , Lee TibiAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Ben Gurion University of the Negev
  • , Joshua D. LipsitzAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Ben Gurion University of the NegevDepartment of Psychiatry, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University Email author 

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


Adults with panic disorder (PD) often present to medical settings with noncardiac chest pain (NCCP), but less is known about children and adolescents with this complaint. We sought to characterize PD in youth with NCCP and compare features with PD in youth in psychiatric outpatient settings. Using a semi-structured diagnostic interview we evaluated 132 youth (ages 8–17) with NCCP recruited from two medical settings. Twenty-seven (20.5 %) met full DSM-IV criteria for PD, eleven of which were children (<13 years). Most frequent panic symptoms were somatic complaints, although cognitive symptoms were also common. Only 14.8 % had clinically significant agoraphobia. Comorbid anxiety disorders and major depression were common. Overall, clinical features of PD among youth with NCCP are similar to PD in psychiatric settings. Interventions for PD may benefit youth who present initially with NCCP. Systematic psychiatric screening could increase detection of PD and improve care for this population.


Panic disorder Chest pain Children Adolescents Medical