BACKGROUND: Non-cardiac chest pain is an important disorder in Asia. The practice and views of gastroenterologists on non-cardiac chest pain in this region are not known.
AIMS: To determine the current understanding, diagnostic practice and treatment strategies among gastroenterologists on the management of non-cardiac chest pain in Asia.
METHODS: A 24-item questionnaire was sent to gastroenterologists in Mainland China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand.
RESULTS: 186 gastroenterologists participated with a response rate of 74%. 98% of gastroenterologists managed patients with non-cardiac chest pain over the last 6 months. 64% felt that the number of non-cardiac chest pain patients was increasing and 85% believed that the most common cause of non-cardiac chest pain was GERD. 94% of the gastroenterologists believed that they should manage non-cardiac chest pain patients, but only 41% were comfortable in diagnosing non-cardiac chest pain. The average number of investigations performed was four in non-cardiac chest pain patients, and oesophago-gastro-duodenoscopy was the most commonly used initial test. A proton pump inhibitor was considered the first-line treatment in non-cardiac chest pain and was reported as the most effective treatment by the gastroenterologists.
CONCLUSION: Most gastroenterologists were practicing evidence-based medicine, but frequent use of investigations and a lack of awareness of the role of visceral hypersensitivity in non-cardiac chest pain patients were noted.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.