Noncardiac chest pain: The role of the cardiologist - A national survey

Wai Man Wong, Sara Risner-Adler, Joy Beeler, Sara Habib, Jimmy Bautista, Steven Goldman, Ronnie Fass

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


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%), life-style 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)858-862
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of clinical gastroenterology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Nov 2005


  • Cardiologist
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease
  • Non-cardiac chest pain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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