How is non-cardiac chest pain diagnosed?

The person having chest pain cannot know whether it is heart related or is non-cardiac chest pain. A person having unexplained chest pain should go to the emergency room.

The emergency room doctor first will give the patient a complete physical exam that includes temperature, blood pressure, and heart rate. Next the doctor will test the patient for heart disease or heart attack. These tests include an electrocardiogram (a noninvasive test that records the heart’s electrical activity) and blood tests. The heart releases certain proteins when a heart attack occurs that will show up in a blood test.

If these tests show that the heart is fine and the pain is not from a heart attack, the pain is called non-cardiac chest pain.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 06/25/2015.

References

  • American College of Gastroenterology. Non-cardiac chest pain Accessed 6/1/2015.
  • Wertli MM, Ruchti KB, Steurer J, Held U. Diagnostic indicators of non-cardiovascular chest pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Med 2013 Nov 8;11:239. Accessed 6/1/2015.
  • Hershcovici T, Achem SR, Jha LK, Fass R. Systematic review: the treatment of noncardiac chest pain. Aliment Pharmacol Ther 2012 Jan;35(1):5-14. Accessed 6/1/2015.
  • Schey R, Villareal A, Fass R. Non-cardiac Chest Pain: Current Treatment. Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2007 Apr;3(4):255–262. Accessed 6/1/2015.

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