Chest Pain (cont.)

Medical Author:
Medical Editor:
Medical Editor:

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.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/2/2015

Heart Disease Pictures Slideshow: Coronary Artery Disease

Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

Chest Pain - Cause Question: What was the cause of your chest pain?
Chest Pain - Treatment Question: What was the treatment for your chest pain?
Chest Pain - Broken or Bruised Ribs Question: Was the cause of your chest pain broken or bruised ribs? Please share your story.
Chest Pain - Diagnosis Question: What were the tests and exams you received for your chest pain? What was the diagnosis?
Chest Pain - Experience Question: Please describe your experience with chest pain.
Chest Pain - Angina and Heart Attack Question: Was angina the reason for your chest pain ? Please share your experience.