Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Chest Pain Overview

What is chest pain?
A person with chest pain has discomfort in the chest. Chest pain has many causes. Any organ in the chest can cause pain, including the heart, lungs, blood vessels, esophagus, ribs, nerves or muscles. Angina is a term used to describe chest pain that is caused by coronary artery disease.

What are the symptoms of chest pain?
Symptoms that occur with chest pain include arm pain, jaw pain, back pain, cough, difficulty breathing, faintness, weakness, palpitations, nausea, excessive sweating, fever, and wheezing.

How does the doctor treat chest pain?
Treatment for chest pain depends on the underlying cause. Musculoskeletal chest pain may be treated with rest, cold compresses, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain. Angina requires treatment with medications that improve coronary blood flow. Chest pain due to pneumonia may require antibiotics.

Continue to Chest Pain Risk Factors

Last Updated: Feb 7, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Chest Pain References
  1. Castell DO. Chest pain of undetermined origin: overview of pathophysiology. Am J Med. 1992 May 27;92(5A):2S-4S. [1595759]
  2. Colombet I, Chatellier G, Jaulent MC, Degoulet P. Decision aids for triage of patients with chest pain: a systematic review of field evaluation studies. Proc AMIA Symp. 1999;:231-5. [10566355]
  3. Patel H, Rosengren A, Ekman I. Symptoms in acute coronary syndromes: does sex make a difference? Am Heart J. 2004 Jul;148(1):27-33. [15215788]
  4. Richter JE. Overview of diagnostic testing for chest pain of unknown origin. Am J Med. 1992 May 27;92(5A):41S-45S. [1595763]
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