Capital Pediatric Cardiology

Chest Pain

Chest Pain services offered throughout Central California

There’s a good chance your child’s chest pain isn’t related to their heart, but it should always be evaluated so you and your child can have the peace of mind that comes with learning the cause of their pain. The board-certified cardiologists at Capital Pediatric Cardiology quickly identify the cause of chest pain with convenient, in-office diagnostic testing. Request an appointment online today or call one of the 10 offices in Sacramento, Roseville, Modesto, Placerville, Cameron Park, Stockton, Chico, Anderson, and Reading, California. Don’t wait to schedule an evaluation for chest pain.

What causes chest pain in children?

Chest pain in children and teens often occurs when they have inflammation or an injury in the chest wall, which includes their ribs, sternum, muscles, and other connective tissues.

Your child’s chest pain may also arise from a heart condition, such as:

  • Pericarditis (inflammation of the sac surrounding the heart)
  • Myocarditis (viral infection of the heart)
  • Arrhythmias (heart rhythm problems)
  • Coronary artery disease (blocked coronary arteries)
  • Aortic dissection (tear in the aorta)
  • Cardiomyopathies (enlarged, thickened, or stiff heart muscle)

Congenital heart disease (conditions that existed at birth) also causes chest pain.

When does chest pain need medical care?

Chest pain should never be ignored because it’s the top symptom of heart problems. Even if the pain improves, you should schedule an appointment to evaluate your child’s heart.

Your child needs immediate medical attention if they experience sudden, severe pain that doesn’t improve or they have chest pain together with:

  • Fever
  • Sweating
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Fast heart rate
  • Pale appearance
  • Ripping sensation in the chest

You should also seek immediate care for your child’s chest pain if you have a family history of heart conditions.

How is the cause of chest pain diagnosed?

Your Capital Pediatric Cardiology provider learns about your child’s symptoms, reviews their medical history, and completes a physical exam. Then they decide if your child needs additional diagnostic testing.

The team at Capital Pediatric Cardiology provides comprehensive in-office diagnostics, such as:

  • Electrocardiograms (EKG)
  • Echocardiography (heart ultrasound)
  • Exercise treadmill (heart stress test)
  • Holter monitoring
  • Event monitoring

EKGs show the heart’s electrical activity, while echocardiograms produce images showing the heart’s structures, including blood flow and muscle and valve movement. A stress test reveals how well the heart works when exercising. Holter or event monitors detect irregular heart rhythms outside the office.

How is chest pain treated?

Capital Pediatric Cardiology providers create personalized treatment plans targeting each child’s unique health care needs. Most care plans include therapies such as:

  • Dietary changes
  • Exercise program
  • Medications
  • Pacemaker implantation
  • Implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD)
  • Interventional procedures

Minimally invasive interventional procedures require a small opening that lets your provider insert a thin, flexible tube (catheter) into a blood vessel. Then they guide the catheter to your child’s heart and use specialized instruments to diagnose problems and repair conditions from inside the heart. 

Call Capital Pediatric Cardiology or request an appointment online right away if your child experiences chest pain.