Reproducible chest pain means that a doctor or medical team can reproduce the pain under specific circumstances through pressing or touching. Doctors often use it as an early diagnostic tool when a person presents with pain in their chest.
Doctors may use palpation, which refers to pressure or touch, to try to reproduce the pain and help make a diagnosis. While not always the case, reproducible chest pain often points toward a musculoskeletal issue, such as a pulled muscle or fracture, rather than a more serious underlying cause.
This article reviews reproducible chest pain and its use in the diagnostic process, other tests, and when to speak with a doctor.
Reproducible chest pain means that a doctor can reproduce the pain through specific manipulation of the person’s chest.
Reproducible chest pain may occur due to various musculoskeletal conditions, such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, destruction of cartilage, and overuse of muscles.
However, it cannot entirely rule out causes beyond musculoskeletal chest pain, such as pulmonary embolism.
Acute coronary syndromes
Acute coronary syndromes refer to a range of different conditions that result from a sudden loss of blood flow to the heart, such as a heart attack.
A study from 2015 suggests that reproducible chest pain can help rule out acute coronary syndrome in people presenting with acute chest pain. However, the researchers note that a negative test cannot rule out other possible heart health causes.
A pulmonary embolism occurs when a blood clot blocks an artery in the lungs, stopping blood flow to part of the lungs. Among other symptoms, it can cause chest pain and trouble breathing.
The ability of a doctor to reproduce chest pain through palpation
Other causes of chest pain
However, reproducible chest pain
Reproducible chest pain
A doctor will likely order one or more of the following tests to check for the source of chest pain:
- chest X-ray
- blood tests
- an EKG
- a CT scan
According to the
- feeling faint, weak, or lightheaded
- chest discomfort or pain, often in the center or toward the left side
- discomfort or pain in one or both arms or shoulders
- shortness of breath
- pain or discomfort in the jaw, back, or neck
Though there are many possible causes of chest pain beyond heart issues, a person should call 911 if they have any doubts about whether they are having a heart attack.
The sooner someone receives treatment, the
Reproducible chest pain refers to pain that doctors can reproduce by touching the chest area. It may indicate a musculoskeletal issue, but a healthcare professional will likely need to perform a few more tests to help determine the exact underlying cause of the pain.
A doctor can determine the cause of chest pain with blood tests, an EKG, which healthcare professionals carry out in all cases of chest pain, and imaging tests.
A person should seek emergency medical care if they suspect they or someone is having a heart attack. Quick treatment can help improve someone’s chances of a favorable outcome.