Chest pain

It is the pain that is localized in the chest and it is one of the most common causes of visit to outpatient clinics and emergency rooms.

What are the causes?

There are many causes and it is important to know certain characteristics of pain such as the time of onset, duration, frequency, extent and reflection.

Also, the existence of any other symptoms such as haemoptysis, shortness of breath, fever and weight loss can guide us towards the cause of chest pain along with the laboratory tests that will be needed.

Therefore, the detailed medical history of the patient together with the clinical examination is very important.

Common causes

Respiratory system

  • Pleuritis
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Pneumothorax
  • Lung cancer
  • Pneumonia
  • Mesothelioma ( pleural malignancy)

Gastric system

  • Gastroesophageal regurgitation
  • Spasm of esophagus
  • Pancreatitis
  • Gastric ulcer

Cardiovascular system

  • Acute Myocardial infraction
  • Angina
  • Dissecting aortic aneurysm
  • Pericarditis

Musculoskeletal system

  • Pleurochondritis
  • Myalgia
  • Pancoast syndrome
  • Ribs fractures

The causes are too many; the medical history and the clinical examination will guide us initially for the diagnostic tests algorithm.

Acute chest pain requires immediate diagnosis, since in many cases such as myocardial infarction, pulmonary embolism, pneumothorax, dissecting aortic aneurysm, the patient’s life is threatened.