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Question:

My family has a history of heart disease. How can I know if my chest pain is serious?

On Friday I started having pain between my breasts, closer to the bottom of my left breast. When the pain would happen, it would go across my left breast a little ways and was gone as fast as it happened. It happened all day long off and on. Saturday morning when I got up it was still doing it. It didn't matter if I was lying down or walking around - it was on and off sometimes two to three times in a minute. I was not short of breath. It did not move down my arm. I was not sick to my stomach. I went to the ER on Saturday to check it out. All tests came back fine. They did keep me overnight to keep a check on me. Sunday I was a little better.

Today is Monday and am only having a few pains in my chest. They ran lots of tests and all came back good. I had a nuclear stress test on my heart. I was told if I had angina that they would have been able to tell this with this test, so that meant I do not have angina. Is this true? I come from a family of heart disease. My daddy died at 52 from a heart attack. I have three uncles on my father's side that have had heart attacks in their 40's. So I am a little concerned this could be angina. I am 44 years old. Thank you.

submitted by Stephanie from Hattiesburg, Mississippi on 4/8/2013

Answer:

by Texas Heart Institute cardiologist, Domingo Gonzalez, MD  

Domingo G. Gonzalez, Jr., MD Chest pain that lasts a second or two is of no significance from a medical standpoint. It is not cardiac. A normal or negative nuclear stress test is associated with a 1 percent chance of a cardiac event such as a heart attack in the next two years. If you need to know if you have coronary artery disease and continue to have chest pain, then a CT coronary angio can tell you with certainty.  

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Updated April 2013
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