A 67-year-old man presented to the emergency department, with acute onset of chest pain. Based on ECG changes suggestive of ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), he was taken emergently to the cardiac catheterisation laboratory for coronary angiography. There he was found to have only nonobstructive coronary disease. Subsequent physical examination and review of his chest radiograph revealed subcutaneous emphysema, and CT scan revealed a distal oesophageal rupture and pneumomediastinum. After stabilisation in the intensive care unit (ICU), he was taken to the operating room for thoracotomy, chest tube placement and stenting of his oesophagus. He survived the incident and, after several weeks of ICU stay, recovered to a large extent. His case highlights the importance of considering oesophageal rupture in the differential diagnosis for acute onset of chest pain.
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