A review of esophageal chest pain

Enrique Coss-Adame, Satish S.C. Rao

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Noncardiac chest pain is a term that encompasses all causes of chest pain after a cardiac source has been excluded. This article focuses on esophageal sources for chest pain. Esophageal chest pain (ECP) is common, affects quality of life, and carries a substantial health care burden. The lack of a systematic approach toward the diagnosis and treatment of ECP has led to significant disability and increased health care costs for this condition. Identifying the underlying cause(s) or mechanism(s) for chest pain is key for its successful management. Common etiologies include gastroesophageal reflux disease, esophageal hypersensitivity, dysmotility, and psychological conditions, including panic disorder and anxiety. However, the pathophysiology of this condition is not yet fully understood. Randomized controlled trials have shown that proton pump inhibitor therapy (either omeprazole, lansoprazole, or rabeprazole) can be effective. Evidence for the use of antidepressants and the adenosine receptor antagonist theophylline is fair. Psychological treatments, notably cognitive behavioral therapy, may be useful in select patients. Surgery is not recommended. There remains a large unmet need for identifying the phenotype and prevalence of pathophysiologic mechanisms of ECP as well as for well-designed multicenter clinical trials of current and novel therapies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)759-766
Number of pages8
JournalGastroenterology and Hepatology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2015


  • Esophageal chest pain
  • Noncardiac chest pain
  • Pathophysiology
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology


Dive into the research topics of 'A review of esophageal chest pain'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this