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Chest pain Assessment Questionnaire

Questions Your Doctor May Ask - and Why!

During a consultation, your doctor will use various techniques to assess the symptom: Chest pain. These will include a physical examination and possibly diagnostic tests. (Note: A physical exam is always done, diagnostic tests may or may not be performed depending on the suspected condition) Your doctor will ask several questions when assessing your condition. It is important to openly share any pertinent information to help your doctor make an accurate diagnosis.

It is also very important to bring an up-to-date list of all of your all medical conditions, medications including dosages, and names of numbers of any specialist you see.

Create your printable checklist by answering questions that your doctor may ask below:

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  1. When did the chest pain start?

    Why: to determine if acute or chronic. If acute onset must consider heart attack, pulmonary embolism, pneumothorax, pericarditis and rib fractures. If chest pain is chronic must consider angina, oesophagitis, hiatus hernia and various chest wall conditions.

  2. Is the chest pain constant or intermittent?

    Why: Constant pain suggests heart attack, pulmonary infarction, dissecting aneurysm and pneumonia. Intermittent pain would suggest angina, Tietze's syndrome and Da Costa's syndrome.

  3. Where exactly is the chest pain?

    Why: e.g. heart attack and angina is typically behind the breastbone; dissecting aneurysm is behind the sternum.

  4. Does the pain travel anywhere else?

    Why: e.g. heart attack pain may radiate to neck, jaw and down left side of arm; esophageal pain may radiate to throat or back; dissecting aneurysm may radiate to between the shoulder blades, abdomen or legs.

  5. Can you describe the nature of the chest pain?

    Why: e.g. heart attack may be described as heavy and crushing; esophageal pain is usually burning; dissecting aneurysm is tearing and searing.

  6. What makes the pain better?

    Why: e.g. if pain is relived by antacids should consider oesophagitis and hiatus hernia; if pain is relieved by nitroglycerine spray should suggest angina but may also be spasm of the esophagus.

  7. What makes the pain worse?

    Why: e.g. If the pain is precipitated or increased by breathing must consider pleurisy, costochondritis, fractured rib and pneumothorax; if pain is aggravated by movement suggests pericarditis; if pain is precipitated by bending, lifting, straining or lying down and is precipitated by certain foods a possible diagnosis is esophageal reflux or spasm.

  8. Is there a history of trauma to chest or back?
  9. Past medical history?

    Why: e.g. diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, heart surgery, Rheumatic fever, heart attack, asthma, emphysema, Marfan's syndrome (increases risk of dissecting aneurysm), deep venous thrombosis.

  10. Family history?

    Why: e.g. heart attack, angina, heart bypass surgery.

  11. Coughing up blood?

    Why: must consider pulmonary embolism.

  12. Fever and pus-like sputum

    Why: should consider pneumonia.

  13. Shortness of breath?

    Why: should consider pneumothorax, pulmonary embolism, pneumonia and congestive heart failure due to heart attack.

  14. Acid or bitter taste in mouth?

    Why: may suggest reflux oesophagitis.

  15. Rash in area of pain?

    Why: suggests herpes zoster (shingles).

  16. Symptoms of anxiety?

    Why: e.g. nervousness, tremor, palpitations, shortness of breath, rapid breathing.

Conditions listing medical symptoms: Chest pain:

The following list of conditions have 'Chest pain' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.

Select from the following alphabetical view of conditions which include a symptom of Chest pain or choose View All.

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Conditions listing medical complications: Chest pain:

The following list of medical conditions have 'Chest pain' or similar listed as a medical complication in our database.


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