Childhood Diseases

Question
Posted by: Liesel | 2010-06-24

Q.

Chest pain

My daughter aged 6 - suffers from occassional chest pain. The pain occurs at any time - and lasts for about 1 min. I normally just hold her and rub over her heart area. She struggles to breathe during this 1 min - and then as soon as she is able to open up her chest and breathe deeply, the pain disappears and she is back to her normal self. I remember getting these same or similar pains as a child, and wrote it off to be something muscular as it never lasted more than a minute and till today - aged 33 I never had any kind of heart problems. Do you think it could be the same thing, or should I have it checked out?

Expert's Reply

A.

Paediatrician

This is a fairly common problem which is known as the Da Costa Syndrome or internal mammary pain. Although the pain occurs in the chest and on the left side where the heart is situated,it has nothing to do with any heart problem. The pain is thought to be due to spasm of an artery on the inside of the chest called the internal mammary artery. This pain often occurs in families and is thought to be mainly brought on by stress.Reassurance is all that is usually needed. The problem usually disappears by itself.

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