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What causes chest pain?

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Posted on Fri, 31 Oct 2014
Question: I've been having pain in my chest and my doctor did an EKG to see of it was normal. She did not really say if it was normal. Just that she had nothing to compare it to. Is it normal? Is there anything that would indicate my cheat pain could be cardiac?

The pain is usually sharp and very breif but today and once before lasted 30 minutes and only got better after I sat down. I also get a pain in my elbow with the cheat pain. The pain occurs in both the left and right sides and the arm pain occurs on the side of the chest pain. I have also had dizziness which might be related or could be anxiety.

I am asking you if this ECG is normal and of there's anything there that might help me solve this cheat pain mystery. Thank you.
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Answered by Dr. Divakara (56 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
EKG is normal.

Detailed Answer:
HI

Greetings from Dr.Divakara.P
Thanks for choosing HealthcareMagic.

First of all your EKG is normal. But let me tell you one thing , just because a single EKG is normal doesn't mean that there is no problem in heart. Only if it is repeated after 12 hours and still if it's normal then it says that there is nothing problem in the heart.


To be more sure that it's not heart you need to get a repeat EKG and a blood test called Troponin I . If both of these comes normal then there is nothing abnormal in your heart .


For diagnosing the cause of chest pain I need to know more about your chest pain.

1. Describe the character of chest pain -- Burning , Pricking or Squeezing .
2. Is there any sweating at the time of chest pain ?
3. Does the chest pain increases on taking deep breath or on having food?

Kindly let me know these details so that I can give a better probable diagnosis.

Will be looking forward for your reply.

Regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Yogesh D
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Follow up: Dr. Divakara (10 hours later)
Will an EKG show angina or another form of cardiac problem or will the second test only indicate whether or not there was a heart attack? Thank you - you've been very helpful.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Divakara (37 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Initial EKG may not always show problem.

Detailed Answer:
Hi

Thanks for the follow up.

EKG is not a very specific and sensitive test to detect Angina or Heart problem. It has it's own drawbacks.

A clearly abnormal EKG definitely means there is problem in the heart . But if the heart attack or Angina starts and EKG is taken immediately then EKG may show No Abnormality at all. But if EKG is repeated after 6 hour then it will show Abnormal findings.

Also sometimes EKG shows normal but if we do Blood test (Troponin I) that will show that there is problem in the heart.

So in a Patient with Chest Pain if the initial EKG is normal, I advise to repeat EKG after 4-6 hours and do Serum Troponin I test, and if both come normal I declare patient as having non cardiogenic chest pain (means pain is not arising from heart).

Hope this information is useful for you.
Any clarifications feel free to ask.

Pleasure to answer.

Regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Vaishalee Punj
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Answered by
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Dr. Divakara

Internal Medicine Specialist

Practicing since :2006

Answered : 2358 Questions

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What causes chest pain?

Brief Answer: EKG is normal. Detailed Answer: HI Greetings from Dr.Divakara.P Thanks for choosing HealthcareMagic. First of all your EKG is normal. But let me tell you one thing , just because a single EKG is normal doesn't mean that there is no problem in heart. Only if it is repeated after 12 hours and still if it's normal then it says that there is nothing problem in the heart. To be more sure that it's not heart you need to get a repeat EKG and a blood test called Troponin I . If both of these comes normal then there is nothing abnormal in your heart . For diagnosing the cause of chest pain I need to know more about your chest pain. 1. Describe the character of chest pain -- Burning , Pricking or Squeezing . 2. Is there any sweating at the time of chest pain ? 3. Does the chest pain increases on taking deep breath or on having food? Kindly let me know these details so that I can give a better probable diagnosis. Will be looking forward for your reply. Regards.