Last Updated on Jan 25, 2020

Chest Pain in Children

Besides adults, chest pain is frequently reported in children too and is one of the reasons for frequent referrals to the pediatric cardiologists. But it is rarely life threatening. Generally chest pain is the seventh commonest reason for referring a child to the emergency department, however in one of the studies it was found that half the kids referred to casualty department below 12 years were for chest pain. An equal number of males and females usually present with chest pain to the doctors.

The etiology of chest pain in children is mostly idiopathic and is rarely heart-related. Careful evaluation has revealed that most of the time the chest pain is due to depression arising from socio-familial reasons.

Children also suffer chest pain due to problems in the musculoskeletal and the pulmonary system and also due to factors associated with the Gastro intestinal (GI) tract.

Chest Pain in Children

Another common cause of chest pain in children is "Costochondritis" and usually affects pre-adolescents and teenagers. Costochondritis is caused by an inflammation of the joint between the breast bone (sternum) and the ribs. On pressing this area on the chest, the pain may get aggravated.(3)

In a study published by Yildirim A, Karakurt C, Karademir S et al in Int Pediatr. 2004; 19(3):175-179 entitled ‘Chest pain in children’ they conclude that chest pain is rarely due to cardiac disease and etiology is usually obscure. They studied 300 children who presented with chest pain and found that--[128 (42.7%) were girls and 172 (57.3%) were boys]. The ages of the girls and boys ranged from 3 to 17 years (mean 9.6 years) and 3 to 15 years (mean 10.4 years). The course time during chest pain, was over one month in 207 (68.8%) of the patients. Localization was on the left pericardium in 226 (75.3%) of the patients. The reason for chest pain was idiopathic or cause unknown in 189 (63.4%) of the patients. Psychiatric, cardiac, gastrointestinal, pulmonary, and musculoskeletal causes were present in 56 (18.7%), 24 (8%), 14 (4.7%), 9 (3%), and 5 (1.6%) of the patients. One patient presented with BCG lymphadenitis (axillary); one patient with thelarche; and one patient with gynecomastia had chest pain.

Reference:

  1. Chest Pain or Discomfort - (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK416/)
  2. Gender Matters: Heart Disease Risk in Women - (https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/gender-matters-heart-disease-risk-in-women)
  3. Chest Pain - Children - (https://www.cincinnatichildrens.org/health/c/chest)
  4. Angina (Chest Pain) - (https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/heart-attack/angina-chest-pain)
  5. Musculoskeletal Chest Wall Pain - (https://www.racgp.org.au/afp/2015/august/musculoskeletal-chest-wall-pain/)
  6. Angina and Other Causes of Chest Pain - (http://www.secondscount.org/heart-condition-centers/info-detail-2/whats-causing-your-chest-pain-2#.XiWSKMgzbIU )
  7. Other Conditions May be Causes of Chest Pain - (https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/other-conditions-may-be-causes-of-chest-pain)
  8. Chest pain - (https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/chest-pain)

Comments

Bensput Friday, October 27, 2017

Hi. For my mother 53 years old, we have already consulted a cardiologist 2 years ago. Did echo test, treadmill test, ECG, all reports normal. Cardiologist diagnosed PSVT and given DILZEM-SR to take daily one tablet. Palpitation of heart stopped with that, but chest pain on left side is severe, feel too much heaviness in the chest while sleeping or lying down. Which specialist we should visit? Kindly advise.

joel101 Tuesday, October 15, 2013

I have been having pains in my left chest for over a year now and have not seen a doctor to complain!I am afraid of this!I have stopped smoking for two years now but still drinks

CrazyBasenjiLady Friday, February 1, 2013

I have sudden sharp pain in my chest and then it goes away. It doesn't happen every day and it isn't associated with any other symptom. I plan to tell my doctor at my next visit, but he'll send me to the same old cardiologist who makes me feel like a waste of time.

tonicasweetzz Friday, March 15, 2013

it could be Precordial Catch Syndrome research it or angina

syras Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The typical symptoms of Chest pain are:
Chest “tightness,” “squeezing,” or “heaviness.” People describe this feeling as a weight or as a band being tightened around their chest. The pain is usually located on the left side of the chest above the bottom of the ribcage, but it’s often hard to define its exact location.
Shortness of breath. Sweating, nausea, and an anxious feeling
A pain in the left arm, neck and jaw.

syras Monday, October 11, 2010

The typical symptoms of chest pain in women are:
Chest “tightness,” “squeezing,” or “heaviness.”  People describe this feeling as a weight or as a band being tightened around their chest. The pain is usually located on the left side of the chest above the bottom of the ribcage, but it’s often hard to define its exact location.
Shortness of breath.Sweating, nausea, and an anxious feeling
A pain in the left arm, neck and jaw.

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