Etiology and treatment of chest pain in children and adolescents

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Chest pain is a very common symptom in pediatric patients. Although children with chest pain are relatively unlikely to be suffering from significant cardiac diseases, it is important not to overlook life-threatening diseases. Complete history taking and physical examination-which involves identifying the duration of pain, onset, character, associated symptoms, and aggravating factors-are extremely important. The most common causes of pediatric chest pain are idiopathic and musculoskeletal, while less than 3% of cases are of cardiac origin. Recent studies indicate that chest pain resulted from psychosomatic disorders increases in non-cardiac chest pain in children and adolescents. The reassurance of the benign nature of chest pain is enough in most cases of non-cardiac chest pain in children and adolescents. When echocardiography is performed on patients with exertional chest pain, it is important to confirm the origin of coronary artery to exclude any coronary anomaly. Exertional chest pain, combined syncope, and symptoms of myocardial ischemia should raise the suspicion of significant cardiac diseases. When the chest pain is accompanied by red flag signs, physicians must refer the patients to a pediatric cardiologist.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)382-389
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the Korean Medical Association
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020


  • Adolescent
  • Cardiac diseases
  • Chest pain
  • Children
  • Musculoskeletal diseases


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