Chest Pain With Normal Coronary Arteriograms: Oesophageal Abnormalities — The Gastroenterologist’s View

  • John S. de Caestecker
Part of the Developments in Cardiovascular Medicine book series (DICM, volume 152)


Central chest pain, particularly if precipitated by exertion, implies the likelihood of coronary artery disease to both patient and physician. William Heberden, who introduced the term “angina pectoris” with a full and accurate account of the condition in 1772, failed himself to connect angina with the heart1. Originally, angina was a descriptive term derived from the Greek word ανχηoνε for an inflammatory neck condition2 to convey a sense of the strangling quality of the symptom. With the recognition of coronary artery disease in this century, angina pectoris and heart disease have become synonymous, to the extent that one eminent cardiologist has suggested that angina “is, by definition, associated with a disturbance of myocardial function”3. However, the possibility that oesophageal disease might give rise to similar symptoms was apparent even in Heberden’s description of angina, as he observed that the symptom could occur during swallowing or after a meal. Indeed, he speculated (perhaps prophetically when seen from the viewpoint of a gastroenterologist) that the source of angina “may be a strong cramp, or an ulcer, or both”1.


Chest Pain Balloon Distension Oesophageal Motility Nutcracker Oesophagus Acid Perfusion 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • John S. de Caestecker
    • 1
  1. 1.Glenfield General HospitalLeicesterUK

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