Pediatric Heart Expert Forum
"Heart Burn???"
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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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"Heart Burn???"

My 10yr old son, who has a coarctation of his aorta and bicuspid aortic valve, keeps complaining that he has heartburn.  This has been going on for the last 4 months or so.  When he has his episodes of "heartburn" he cannot move, and he says that it takes his breath away.  I've asked him if he has a burning in his throat as well, and he says no.  He says it's just pain in his chest, that lasts about 15 minutes and then slowly disappears.

He had closed heart surgery when he was 4, where they opened up his aortic valve and placed a graft.  On his last visit to the cardiologist, he had a stress test done and was told that in the following year he will need an angioplasty.

We go to the cardiologist once a year, so I'm hoping you can help in the mean time.  Is this something I should take him in for?  Is there something that could be causing this?  I've given him tums to see if that will help, which it doesnt. And we watch what he eats...
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Dear Sarah Lynn,

Without evaluating your son and discussing the chest pain more with him as well as knowing his examination and testing, I cannot say if this is cardiac, or not.  Certainly, with his history, he is at greater risk for a cardiac etiology of his chest pain.  I would recommend that he be seen by his cardiologist sooner, or at least by his primary care provider, who can get a more complete history and examination and determine whether this is truly "heartburn", or gastroesophageal reflux, or something more concerning.
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