About Chest Pain

Doctors often ask patients if they have “chest pain.”  But the question should really be broader, asking if there has been chest discomfort/pressure/tightness/heaviness. The symptoms of poor flood flow to the heart (usually caused by coronary artery disease) often feel more like pressure than pain, so it’s important not to dismiss chest symptoms just because it isn’t sharp or severe. Many non-cardiac conditions can also cause chest pain, ranging from chest muscle or joint pain to gastrointestinal problems to lung issues. The cardiologist can often tease out subtle clues as to which of these things is most likely.  But generally, further testing of the heart with some type of stress test (either an exercise treadmill test, a stress echocardiogram, or a nuclear stress test) is indicated.

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Gregory Koshkarian, MD, FACC