- Chest Pain Quiz
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- Patient Comments: Chest Pain - Cause
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- Patient Comments: Chest Pain - Broken or Bruised Ribs
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- Patient Comments: Chest Pain - Angina and Heart Attack
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- Chest pain facts
- Chest pain introduction
- What are the sources of chest pain?
- What are the causes of chest pain?
- How is chest pain diagnosed?
- What is the philosophy of the approach to chest pain diagnosis?
- What is the diagnosis and treatment for chest pain?
- Broken or bruised ribs
- Pleuritis or pleurisy
- Pulmonary embolism
- Angina and heart attack (myocardial infarction)
- Aorta and aortic dissection
- Esophagus and reflux esophagitis
- Referred abdominal pain
Quick GuideHeart Disease: Symptoms, Signs, and Causes
Referred abdominal pain
Conditions in the abdomen can present as pain referred to the chest, especially if there is inflammation along the diaphragm. Inflammation of the stomach, spleen, liver, or gallbladder can initially present with nonspecific pain complaints that may be associated with vague chest discomfort. Physical examination and time to allow the disease process to express itself often allow the appropriate diagnosis to be made. It is also the reason that the whole body is examined, even if the initial complaint is chest pain.
- Similarly, conditions in the chest may initially present as abdominal pain.
- Myocardial infarction of the inferior or lower portion of the heart can present as indigestion.
- Pneumonia can present as upper abdominal pain, especially if the lung inflammation is next to the diaphragm.
- Aortic dissection can present with chest pain, abdominal pain, or both, depending upon where the dissection occurs.
Medically reviewed by a board-certified Family Practice Physician
Tintinalli, Judith E., et al. Tintinalli's Emergency Medicine: A Comprehensive Study Guide. 7th edition. McGraw-Hill, 2010.