Chest pain is often seen alongside with panic attacks. Moreover, panic disorder has been suggested as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and even a trigger for acute coronary syndrome. Patients with coronary artery disease may have myocardial ischemia in response to mental stress, in which panic attack is a strong component, by an increase in coronary vasomotor tone or sympathetic hyperactivity setting off an increase in myocardial oxygen consumption. Indeed, coronary artery spasm was presumed to be present in cases of cardiac ischemia linked to panic disorder. These findings correlating panic disorder with coronary artery disease lead us to raise questions about the favorable prognosis of chest pain in panic attack. To investigate whether myocardial ischemia is the genesis of chest pain in panic attacks, we developed a myocardial perfusion study through research by myocardial scintigraphy in patients with panic attacks induced in the laboratory by inhalation of 35% carbon dioxide. In conclusion, from the data obtained, some hypotheses are discussed from the viewpoint of endothelial dysfunction and microvascular disease present in mental stress response.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine