Pediatric Heart Expert Forum
5yo c/o chest pain
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Questions in this forum are answered by pediatric cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons and anesthesiologists from The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. This forum is for questions and support about pediatric heart problems, symptoms and topics such as heart murmurs, palpitations, fainting, chest pain, congenital heart defects (including management and intervention), fetal cardiology, adult congenital cardiology, arrhythmias and pre-participation athletic screening.

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5yo c/o chest pain

In the past 2 months my daughter has complained of chest pain.  The first time she was getting into her car seat.  She flinched about 4 times and each time she did she would yell ooww.  I asked her what was wrong and she said her heart hurt.  When I felt her chest it felt like her heart was pounding.  I couldn't tell if it was irregular.  Tonight she was walking to the bathroom and said why is my heart hurting again? Same thing-heart felt like it was pounding.  Lasted about 1 minute. The first time it happened I took her to her pediatrician and they sent her to the hospital for an ekg.  It was normal.  Any thoughts?
Thank you
Tags: Chest pain in children
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Chest pain is common in children.  The vast majority of the time it is non-cardiac in origin.  Most often it is musculoskeletal due to stretching of joints and tendons in healthy, growing children.  Less often it is due to gastroesophageal reflux, or wheezing.  Least common is cardiac disease. Your child's pain was not associated with vigorous activity, and if I am correct from your posting, there was no dizziness or passing it; it also sounded fairly brief.  So if the ECG was read as normal, and your pediatrician feels that she has a normal cardiac exam, and if there is no family history for inheritable forms of heart disease or early sudden death, then this is most likely non-cardiac chest pain.   Most children actually do say "my heart hurts"--why we don't know.  A person's heart rate will speed up when they are in pain.  In order to differentiate that from an abnormal heart rate, or arrhythmia, your doctor needs to know what the heart rate was at the time of symptoms.  So if you can learn how to take a pulse (at rest and with activity) and then compare that to the pulse rate at the time of symptoms that would be very helpful.  
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Thank you very much for the quick response.  I will take her pulse and gather that info for her doctor.
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Jeffrey R Boris, M.D.Blank
The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
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The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
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