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Patients with panic disorder often complain of angina-like chest pain during panic attacks, but this is not usually considered life-threatening. We describe three patients with panic disorder and documented cardiac ischaemia during episodes of chest pain. In two, it progressed to myocardial infarction. As none had atherosclerosis evident at coronary angiography, the mechanism was presumed to be coronary artery spasm. These cases illustrate that pain typical of angina during panic attacks may have an organic cause.

Original publication




Journal article


Med J Aust

Publication Date





390 - 392


Adult, Angina Pectoris, Coronary Vasospasm, Disease Progression, Electrocardiography, Female, Humans, Male, Myocardial Infarction, Panic Disorder, Risk