Causes of Chest Pain
There are many causes of chest pain, most of which are not serious.
The key cause of chest pain that would interest the cardiologist is angina; this is typically caused by the presence of a narrowed blood vessels supplying the heart i.e. coronary artery disease. Other causes of chest pain could be acid indigestion, muscular pains, or pain referred from the spine but felt in the chest.
Angina Chest Pain
Coronary artery disease is normally silent, but as it becomes more advanced, the individual may begin to experience the symptoms of angina. It is commonly known as” hardening of the arteries”. A build-up of fatty deposits narrows the blood vessels, similar to limescale in pipes. Coronary artery disease kills 1 in 5 of all men, and 1 in 6 of all women.
Investigating Chest Pain
Investigation of chest pain can be a difficult and complicated process. However the process of ruling out cardiac chest pain usually involves:
- Careful taking of medical history
- Physical examination
- Appropriate diagnostic tests including ECG, echo, exercise testing
- Expert interpretation of results
- Feedback of results and initiation of treatment
You may need further tests such as stress echocardiography, CT angiography or invasive coronary angiography.