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Chest Pain

Chest pain that is more mild or intermittent can have many possible causes, some of which might be serious.

By answering the following set of questions, you will be guided toward information that applies to you and your chest pain.

First, let's consider how likely the chest pain reflects a serious medical condition, such as coronary artery disease, an enlarging aortic aneurysm, or blood clots in the lung (pulmonary emboli). Coronary artery disease and aneurysm do not usually cause pain that hurts more with breathing. The pain is the same even if you take a deep breath.

An enlarging aneurysm of the aorta will usually cause a constant severe pain in the chest and back, that feels like something ripping. The symptoms of coronary artery disease are highly variable, but chest pain that hurts more with deep breaths is not a typical symptom. When the cause of chest pain is pulmonary emboli, it usually is hard to take a deep breath.

Does it hurt more when you take a deep breath?

dash  Yes, it hurts more when I take a deep breath.
dash  No, it does not hurt more when I take a deep breath.

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Harvard Health Publications Source: from the Harvard Health Publications Family Health Guide, Copyright © 2007 by President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved.

Used with permission of StayWell.

Use of this content is subject to specified Terms and Conditions and a Medical Disclaimer.

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