Pediatric Heart Expert Forum
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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chest pain

I’m 17 years old and have recently been referred to a cardiologist for chest pain. This pain is down the middle of my chest and can sometimes spread to my left arm, the pain itself feels like a stabbing pain, I can also feel my heart beating in my chest quite fast. So far none of my blood tests or ECG’s have shown anything abnormal, neither has an x-ray of my chest. Apart from this pain I am otherwise healthy. In the past few weeks the pain has got worst and I have been to A&E a few times with it, but no one is able to give me any ideas of what this pain could be, any ideas?
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Dear Jemma,

Without getting more of a history and examination, I cannot say for sure what the cause of your chest pain is.  However, it is quite likely that your chest pain is due to a musculoskeletal cause.  We do see chest wall pain quite frequently in teenagers, but the history can vary, so it’s important to make sure that a good history is obtained.  Briefly, sharp pain in adolescents is common, is only a nuisance, and needs no medications.  It is often brief, worse with inspiration, and not severe.  The bottom line here, though, is that often knowing that this is not a heart attack is reassuring enough that the pain can be ignored till it disappears.
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Marie M Gleason, M.D.Blank
The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
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The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Philadelphia, PA
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