WHEN a patient complains of pain in the chest two separate questions often need to be answered. The first involves a decision as to whether or not the pain results from disturbances of the coronary circulation. The second question, which arises only when the first is answered in the negative, involves a positive decision as to the cause of the pain. When a patient is told that his pain is not the result of coronary disease, he naturally wonders what may actually be the cause. Unless this problem can be solved in a manner convincing to the patient, he may continue to believe that the heart is responsible. Such a belief is likely to lead to months or years of unnecessary fright and anxiety on the part of the patient and his relatives.
The purpose of the present article is to emphasize that both of these questions can be answered