Keywords: reflux, esophagitis, misdiagnosis, myocardial infarction (PubMed Search)
The most common misdiagnosis in cases of missed acute MI is reflux esophagitis. Various studies have demonstrated the following factors that lead to this misdiagnosis:
1. 20% of patients with acute MI describe their pain using the words "indigestion" or "burning."
2. Almost 50% of patients with acute MI report an increase in belching during their ischemic symptoms.
3. 15% of patients get some relief of their ischemic pain with antacids and 7% of patients get complete relief of their ischemic pain with antacids.
4. 8% of patients report that their ischemic pain began while eating.
Before you ever write "Reflux esophagitis" or "GERD" on the chart of a patient you are about to send home, think twice about the possibility of acute cardiac ischemia.