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Craniofacial Pain as the Sole Sign of Prodromal Angina and Acute Coronary Syndrome: A Review and Report of a Rare Case

Mahta Fazlyab, Ehsan Esnaashari, Mojgan Saleh, Farshad Shakerian, Davood Akhlagh Moayed, Saeed Asgary




Orofacial pain can arise from different regions and etiologies. Some of the most debilitating pain conditions arise from the structures innervated by the trigeminal system (head, face, masticatory musculature, temporomandibular joint and associated structures). The problem with referred pain is the misdiagnosis and unnecessary therapy directed to the pain location instead of its origin. When craniofacial pain is the sole sign of myocardial ischemia, failure to recognize its cardiac source can endanger the patient. In particular, apart from unnecessary dental treatments, patients with acute myocardial infarction who do not experience chest pain run a very high risk of misdiagnosis and death. As endodontists, each of us may face many patients complaining of pain sensation in the teeth with the main source being other craniofacial/visceral organs. This review plots a diagnostically challenging case paving the way for further literature presentation in this regard. The aim of this compendious review was to gain knowledge about the prevalence, clinical characteristics and possible mechanisms of craniofacial pain of cardiac origin, in order to improve the clinician’s ability to make a correct diagnosis.

Keywords: Craniofacial Pain; Myocardial Infarction; Orofacial Pain; Pre-Infarction Angina; Prodromal Angina; Referred Pain

DOI: https://doi.org/10.22037/iej.v10i4.10169


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