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Date of last update: 10/19/2017.

Forum Name: Chest symptoms

Question: Sporadic shooting chest/breast pain on left side

 wimpy - Tue Aug 02, 2005 6:40 pm

I'm 21, non-smoker, not overweight, but ever since I was about 15 and had a vicious bout of pneumonia I've had these chest pains. It usually occurs on the top to center of my left breast. It's a very sharp painful sensation that leaves me short of breath because I can't seem to take in a deep breath when this occurs. It usually never lasts more than 2 minutes and can go for months at a time without occuring. I just had one though, and it's been about a 1/2 hour and I can still feel it. It seems more like a breathing issue. Any thoughts?
 Dr. Safaa Mahmoud - Fri Jul 28, 2006 6:57 pm

User avatar Dear wimpy,

Pleurisy is an inflammation of the pleura, the double layered membrane that covers the lung. According to your description it is more likely to the cause of your symptoms.

The condition is due to viral infection in most of the cases.
The pain is felt like sharp pain on one side or less commonly in both sides, it increases with deep breath. The pain usually stops once you hold your breath and result in rapid, shallow breathing.

The condition gradually improves with rest, plenty of fluid. NSAID can help reduce the pain.

If you have a productive Cough with yellowish or greenish sputum, or high Fever, you should visit your doctor immediately to receive the proper medical care.

Overexertion of the chest wall muscles or their inflammation as a part of viral infection like flu or cold results also in Chest pain, the pain is usually aggravated with certain moves and is usually associated with tenderness over the affected muscles. Pain due to rib or chest wall bone disease is also another cause of Chest pain.

Cardiac causes, should be excluded in any case of chest pain especially if the pain is similar to that caused by cardiac ischemia although less likely to be the cause in your case (young age with no risk factors and no typical symptoms). Some other cardiac causes like Mitral Valve prolapse give pain that may be similar to that of ischemic heart disease and is usually associated with palpitation.These conditions should be investigated by ECG, stress ECG, Echocradiography and cardiac catheter if needed.

I advise you to follow up with your doctor, only by complete history and physical examination, the correct diagnosis can be reached.

Hope you find this information useful.
Best regards,

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