atypical chest pain

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atypical chest pain2016-05-19T22:48:37+00:00

atypical chest pain


A so-called Humpty-Dumpty* coinage for chest pain that is sudden, sharp and short-lived.

No one really can put a handle on the term, some doctors use the term so they can “turf” a patient to another service or consultant/specialist; others recommend deleting the phrase from the working medical parlance.

*“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.” Carroll L. Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There. Philadelphia: Henry Altemus Co; 1897. Herbert L. Fred, MD, MACP, shared his thoughts on the matter: While the possibility of acute angina  or evolving myocardial infarction must always be considered in the differential of chest pain, when that pain is not classical in its presentation, alternative diagnoses should be considered including oesophageal pain due to dyspepsia, gallbladder attack, occlusion of the superior mesenteric artery and so on. 

Reference Tex Heart Inst J. 2009; 36(5): 373–374


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