Causes of Chest Pain: Signs and Symptoms

  • Author:
    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.

  • Editor: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

What Is Chest Pain?

Chest pain is discomfort or pain anywhere from a person's neck to the upper part of the abdomen. The discomfort or pain may be described as:

  • Tightness
  • Squeezing
  • Crushing
  • Tearing (or ripping)
  • Stabbing
  • Burning
  • Aching
  • Sharp
  • Dull
  • Palpitations (uneasiness or discomfort in chest because of a rapid heartbeat)
  • Constant
  • Intermittent
Reviewed on 2/29/2016

Medscape: “Myocardial Infarction Differential Diagnosis”

Medscape: “Angina Pectoris in Emergency Medicine Workup”

American Heart Association: “Heart Attack Symptoms in Women”


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