Posted by: Purple | 2013/01/11


concern about sons chest pain


My son is 8, about to turn 9. Last year and the year before, he got bad flu, last year he had bronchitis at the same time and there was some concern that he had pneumonia, but it turned out he didn''t, although in the end it was felt there was no need to x-ray him. He was however off school for around 3 weeks. Initially the doctor wanted us to nebulise him, but because we don''t own a nebuliser, she then wasn''t keen on us hiring one and prescribed cortisone, which caused my son to get the reddest cheeks I have ever seen in my life.

This year, we''re vaccinating for flu of course.

The reason for my quesiton is that since then he has had chest pains near his heart. They are so painful that he cries. I took him back to the doctor but couldn''t see our usual doctor, and saw another who said that children don''t get heart problems - but that doesn''t sound right to me (I''m thinking I''ve misunderstood what he said). He said it was the membranes in his lungs still being painful from the bronchitis.

The frequency of the chest pains has eased up over time, but they seem more painful. It makes no difference whether he is busy playing or running or sitting quietly watching TV - about every few days he will cry in pain that he has a chest pain by his heart, but then after a few minutes it passes.

Should I take him to see the paediatrician just to be sure, or is this still from his illness (which was in the early part of the third term) and will get better on its own?

I have once given him myprodol as he was in such pain, but usually it passes within a few minutes and he doesn''t need any painkillers.

He''s generally a healhty child, he eats well, does lots of sport, does well at school. plays actively. Up until age 7 he had lots of ear infections but after three sets of grommets and growing older we haven''t had an ear infection with any colds for years. All his vaccinations are up to date, although prevenar wasn''t available when he was little so he hasn''t had that, or hepatitis A, as we somehow just never got around to that.

Should I wait and see or take him to the paediatrician?

Expert's Reply



The chest pain that your son complains about is probably due to a condition known as the Da Costa syndrome. This is due to intermittent spasm of an artery on the inside of the front part of the chest known as the internal mammary artery. It is not caused by anything to do with your son's heart. This pain is usually due to stress and even though your son does not appear to be the usual type of child who develops this condition his symptoms are still very suggestive of the Da Costa syndrome. Children usually grow out of this problem with time. They need reassurance when the pain starts . It is not necessary to give anything for the pain. It would probably be best to check with your doctor that this is indeed your son's problem, but it seems reasonably certain that this is the cause of his pain.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

Want to comment?

Thanks for commenting! Your comment will appear on the site shortly.
Thanks for commenting! Your comment will appear on the site shortly.