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Healthy Parenting 101: What your childs chest pain could mean?

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Healthy Parenting 101: What your childs chest pain could mean?

Pediatric Cardiology | by BMB | Published on 26/07/2022

If an adult is experiencing chest pain there are many different reasons that you can think of but when a small child complains of chest pain it can be very difficult for the parents to figure out what it could mean. Is it just another tantrum that your little one is throwing or there is something that needs to be brought to the attention of a doctor immediately?

Experts from the top paediatric cardiology hospital in Kolkata suggest that there are extremely low chances that the chest pain experienced by a child is related to a heart problem but we cannot simply negate the same as many heart conditions can be linked with it. These include:

Congenital cardiomyopathy - The condition is very rare in children and marked by abnormalities in the heart muscles that prevent it from functioning efficiently. It can either be primary or secondary. Primary cardiomyopathy is marked by an abnormality that originates in the muscles themselves, whereas secondary cardiomyopathy is marked by abnormalities that are a result of some other underlying conditions. As the disease is chronic and potentially fatal in nature, it is very important to consult a doctor and plan the treatment at the earliest. Although chest pain is a common symptom associated with congenital cardiomyopathy there are many other symptoms that should be taken into account. Also, some children suffering from the condition are completely symptomatic during the initial stages and the symptoms developed gradually with time.

Cardiomyopathy can also be categorized as ischemic and non-ischemic. The former is marked by the lack of blood flow to the heart and the latter is marked by a congenital defect in the coronary artery.

Congenital coronary artery anomalies - It is an umbrella term used for various congenital conditions that are characterized by an abnormality in the structure of the coronary artery. The condition can manifest itself in different ways however chest pain is one of the most common indications. It is pertinent to note that such anomalies are benign and quite rare. The artery may be of abnormal size or will have a very different shape or both problems coexist. A child's heart develops while it is still inside the mother's womb and there are various different stages involved in it. If there is something wrong in any one of these stages it can result in a congenital coronary artery anomaly. There are many other congenital heart problems that have been linked with CAA like transposition of the great arteries, pulmonary valve atresia, tetralogy of Fallot, and double outlet right ventricle.

Myocarditis - Myocarditis is a condition marked by inflammation of the myocardium, which refers to the middle muscular layer of the heart wall. In the majority of children suffering from it, the condition is a result of viral infection which may be caused by viruses like Parvovirus, influenza virus, adenovirus and rubella. When the germ enters the body it travels to the heart via the bloodstream and multiplies there. The child's immune system responds to it aggressively, resulting in severe inflammation. Myocarditis in kids may also be caused by an adverse reaction to certain medications, radiations, and chemicals, or triggered by an underlying inflammatory disease. Unlike most other heart problems there are no known risk factors for myocarditis. Fortunately, the problem can be managed with the right treatment which is based on the adversity of the problem. If you opt for early treatment there are high chance that your child may recover completely.

If your child is complaining of chest pain, you should at least go for a proper assessment to make sure that there is no serious underlying cause or heart problem that is responsible for it. Early detection can help in effective treatment and management which, in turn, ensures a normal and healthy future for your little one.