Chest Pain

iHeart Pediatrics

Pediatric Cardiologist located in Old Bridge, NJ

Chest pain in children is most likely to come from a strained muscle or a severe cough, but there’s a chance that it's due to a heart problem. If your child has been experiencing chest pain with no clear explanation, expert pediatric cardiologist Laura Boulos, DO, at iHeart Pediatrics in Old Bridge, New Jersey, can help. Find out why your child has chest pain by calling iHeart Pediatrics or book an appointment online today.

Chest Pain Q & A

Why would my child have chest pain?

In pediatrics, chest pain may be cardiac (heart-related), but more commonly it’s non-cardiac. The most likely causes of non-cardiac chest pain in children include:

  • Muscle overuse
  • Precordial catch syndrome (perhaps from a pinched nerve or muscle spasm)
  • Sore muscles from persistent coughing
  • Asthma
  • Heartburn (acid reflux from the stomach)
  • Excess caffeine from energy drinks
  • Bruised ribs or a rib fracture
  • Serious chest infections like pneumonia and pleurisy

Chest pain in pediatrics is rarely due to serious cardiac disease. Nevertheless, it's a frequent complaint in childhood that often warrants an evaluation.

What heart conditions might cause chest pain in children?

While heart conditions are rarely the cause of chest pain in children, there are some cardiac problems that could affect your child, such as:

Congenital heart abnormalities

Congenital heart abnormalities are conditions children are born with and are usually discovered early in your child's life. They occur when the fetus’s heart doesn't develop as it should.

Coronary artery disease

Unlike in adults, chest pain due to coronary artery disease is rare in pediatrics. . Symptoms are often due to a narrowing or blockage in the coronary arteries that deprives your child's heart of oxygen.  More often in pediatrics this can be seen associated with congenital coronary artery abnormalities or secondary to Kawasaki disease.  Kawasaki disease is a condition that causes inflammation of the heart and coronary arteries that can sometimes lead to coronary artery aneurysms or blood clots.

Myocarditis and pericarditis

Myocarditis and pericarditis are conditions in which the heart muscle and lining surrounding the heart become inflamed most commonly after a prior viral infection. 

How is chest pain diagnosed and treated?

To diagnose your child's chest pain, Dr. Boulos carries out a detailed history and physical examination.   Other diagnostic tests may include an EKG, echocardiogram or Holter monitor.  

The treatment your child needs for chest pain depends on what's causing the problem. Dr. Boulos will discuss the treatment options with you in full. 

If you are concerned about your child’s chest pain, don’t hesitate to  call iHeart Pediatrics or book an appointment online today.