Items in AFP with MESH term: Chest Pain

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Diagnosing the Cause of Chest Pain - Article

ABSTRACT: Chest pain presents a diagnostic challenge in outpatient family medicine. Noncardiac causes are common, but it is important not to overlook serious conditions such as an acute coronary syndrome, pulmonary embolism, or pneumonia. In addition to a thorough history and physical examination, most patients should have a chest radiograph and an electrocardiogram. Patients with chest pain that is predictably exertional, with electrocardiogram abnormalities, or with cardiac risk factors should be evaluated further with measurement of troponin levels and cardiac stress testing. Risk of pulmonary embolism can be determined with a simple prediction rule, and a D-dimer assay can help determine whether further evaluation with helical computed tomography or venous ultrasound is needed. Fever, egophony, and dullness to percussion suggest pneumonia, which can be confirmed with chest radiograph. Although some patients with chest pain have heart failure, this is unlikely in the absence of dyspnea; a brain natriuretic peptide level measurement can clarify the diagnosis. Pain reproducible by palpation is more likely to be musculoskeletal than ischemic. Chest pain also may be associated with panic disorder, for which patients can be screened with a two-item questionnaire. Clinical prediction rules can help clarify many of these diagnoses.


Pleurisy - Article

ABSTRACT: Pleuritic chest pain is a common presenting symptom and has many causes, which range from life-threatening to benign, self-limited conditions. Pulmonary embolism is the most common potentially life-threatening cause, found in 5 to 20 percent of patients who present to the emergency department with pleuritic pain. Other clinically significant conditions that may cause pleuritic pain include pericarditis, pneumonia, myocardial infarction, and pneumothorax. Patients should be evaluated appropriately for these conditions before an alternative diagnosis is made. History, physical examination, and chest radiography are recommended for all patients with pleuritic chest pain. Electrocardiography is helpful, especially if there is clinical suspicion of myocardial infarction, pulmonary embolism, or pericarditis. When these other significant causes of pleuritic pain have been excluded, the diagnosis of pleurisy can be made. There are numerous causes of pleurisy, with viral pleurisy among the most common. Other etiologies may be evaluated through additional diagnostic testing in selected patients. Treatment of pleurisy typically consists of pain management with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, as well as specific treatments targeted at the underlying cause.


Atypical Presentations of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease - Article

ABSTRACT: Gastroesophageal reflux disease typically manifests as heartburn and regurgitation, but it may also present with atypical or extraesophageal symptoms, including asthma, chronic cough, laryngitis, hoarseness, chronic sore throat, dental erosions, and noncardiac chest pain. Diagnosing atypical manifestations of gastroesophageal reflux disease is often a challenge because heartburn and regurgitation may be absent, making it difficult to prove a cause-and-effect relationship. Upper endoscopy and 24-hour pH monitoring are insensitive and not useful for many patients as initial diagnostic modalities for evaluation of atypical symptoms. In patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease who have atypical or extraesophageal symptoms, aggressive acid suppression using proton pump inhibitors twice daily before meals for three to four months is the standard treatment, although some studies have failed to show a significant benefit in symptomatic improvement. If these symptoms improve or resolve, patients may step down to a minimal dose of antisecretory therapy over the following three to six months. Surgical intervention via Nissen fundoplication is an option for patients who are unresponsive to aggressive antisecretory therapy. However, long-term studies have shown that some patients still require antisecretory therapy and are more likely to develop dysphagia, rectal flatulence, and the inability to belch or vomit.


Radiologic Evaluation of Acute Chest Pain—Suspected Myocardial Ischemia - Article

ABSTRACT: The American College of Radiology has developed appropriateness criteria for a number of clinical conditions and procedures. Criteria are available on imaging tests used in the evaluation of acute chest pain--suspected myocardial ischemia. Imaging tests for a suspected cardiac etiology include transthoracic echocardiography, transesophageal echocardiography, radionuclide perfusion imaging, radionuclide ventriculography, radionuclide infarct avid imaging, and positron emission tomography. If the cardiac ischemic work-up is negative or indeterminate, applicable tests include chest radiography; conventional, multidetector, and electron beam computed tomography; and magnetic resonance imaging. A summary of the criteria, with the advantages and limitations of each test, is presented in this article.


An Unusual Case of Chest Pain - Photo Quiz


A Pregnant Patient with Dyspnea - Photo Quiz


Psychological Interventions for Noncardiac Chest Pain - Cochrane for Clinicians


Acute Chest Pain in an Adolescent - Photo Quiz


Sudden Onset of Clicking Chest Pain - Photo Quiz


Costochondritis: Diagnosis and Treatment - Article

ABSTRACT: Costochondritis, an inflammation of costochondral junctions of ribs or chondrosternal joints of the anterior chest wall, is a common condition seen in patients presenting to the physician's office and emergency department. Palpation of the affected chondrosternal joints of the chest wall elicits tenderness. Although costochondritis is usually self-limited and benign, it should be distinguished from other, more serious causes of chest pain. Coronary artery disease is present in 3 to 6 percent of adult patients with chest pain and chest wall tenderness to palpation. History and physical examination of the chest that document reproducible pain by palpation over the costal cartilages are usually all that is needed to make the diagnosis in children, adolescents, and young adults. Patients older than 35 years, those with a history or risk of coronary artery disease, and any patient with cardiopulmonary symptoms should have an electrocardiograph and possibly a chest radiograph. Consider further testing to rule out cardiac causes if clinically indicated by age or cardiac risk status. Clinical trials of treatment are lacking. Traditional practice is to treat with acetaminophen or anti-inflammatory medications where safe and appropriate, advise patients to avoid activities that produce chest muscle overuse, and provide reassurance.


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