Exploring Roemheld syndrome: a comprehensive review with proposed diagnostic criteria

Herz. 2024 May 7. doi: 10.1007/s00059-024-05249-y. Online ahead of print.


Roemheld syndrome (RS) is a condition that triggers cardiac symptoms due to gastrointestinal compression of the heart. It is often misdiagnosed as other types of cardiac or digestive disorders, leading to unnecessary treatments and reduced quality of life. Here, we provide a thorough review of RS, covering its pathogenesis, etiology, diagnosis, treatment, and outcome. We found that a number of conditions, including gallstones, hiatal hernia, excessive gas, and gastroesophageal reflux syndrome, can cause RS. The symptoms of RS can include chest pain, palpitations, shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, bloating, and abdominal pain. Clinical history, physical examination, electrocardiograms, and improvement in symptoms following gastrointestinal therapy can all be used to identify RS. We also propose a set of criteria, the IKMAIR criteria, to improve the diagnostic approach for this condition. Dietary changes, lifestyle adjustments, pharmaceutical therapies, and surgical procedures can all be used to control RS. Depending on the underlying etiology and the outcome of treatment, RS has a varying prognosis. We conclude that RS is a complicated and understudied disorder that needs more attention from researchers and patients as well as from medical professionals. We recommend the inclusion of RS in the differential diagnosis for individuals with gastrointestinal problems and unexplained cardiac symptoms. Additionally, we advise treating RS holistically by attending to its cardiac and gastrointestinal components.

PMID:38714552 | DOI:10.1007/s00059-024-05249-y