Chest pain is a common symptom in adolescents and accounts for about 10% of A&E visits. Most children with chest pain do not have any serious heart disease.
Common cause of the chest pain is Musculo-skeletal (costochondritis and precordial catch).
Less commonly pain can be secondary to persistent coughing (asthma, bronchitis) or referred from the abdomen (constipation, coeliac disease), or spine (unrecognised injury).
Rarely (<1%) are attributable to a heart disease like pericarditis, myocarditis, or cardiomyopathy. A fast heart rate (arrhythmia) can present as chest pain in children.
Our Paediatric Cardiology consultant will undertake a detailed history and Clinical examination to exclude a cardiac cause. As part of the clinical assessment, the consultant will organise various investigations such as blood tests, chest x-ray, ECG, Echocardiogram, heart monitor, standing test, and exercise test.
Any identified cardiac cause needs to be treated with medications and monitored closely. Often normal cardiac investigations and a reassurance that the heart is normal suffice to give relief to the chest pain and related anxiety.