Dr. Michael McGillion, Bloomberg Nursing assistant professor, is a guest editor for the Canadian Journal of Cardiology’s (CJC) inaugural supplement dedicated to persistent cardiac pain, which was published in March.
Three years ago, McGillion produced a Canadian Cardiovascular Society (CCS) Position Statement outlining research and treatment for people living with refractory angina, a severe and debilitating form of persistent cardiac pain. This position statement provided direction to his Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) funded projects focusing on cardiac pain predictors and treatment approaches. In 2010, McGillion was invited to join a Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario think tank on Cardiac Syndrome X, another elusive cardiac pain problem. McGillion’s work with the think tank provided the incentive for the CJC special supplement.
“Persistent cardiac pain is generally poorly understood and difficult to treat. There is a critical need to raise awareness in Canada about the nature of persistent cardiac pain problems and to develop feasible options for cardiac pain management,” says McGillion. “Our team is working on several intractable pain problems in cardiology, all of which involve complex nervous system pathology as with other types of chronic pain. We proposed the supplement to the CJC as a way to generate a pain-oriented awareness of these challenging conditions.”
The supplement, titled “No Amount of Pain is Satisfactory: New Perspectives on Persistent Cardiac Pain,” is based on CIHR’s knowledge-to-action framework. It is designed to translate the latest pain science and evidence for a cardiovascular audience. The supplement includes new national practice guidelines for the management of refractory angina as well as new evidence, syntheses and diagnostic criteria for a variety of conditions, including stable angina, persistent non-ischemic chest pain, sensitive heart syndrome and non-revascularizable coronary disease. This collection of work represents the contributions of internationally-recognized leaders in the cardiovascular and pain sciences.
“The compendium of information in this supplement provides the impetus for trans-disciplinary collaboration that we hope will lead to new insights, new practices and new research to advance the care for Canadians suffering persistent forms of cardiac pain,” says McGillion.