Step 4: Read and complete the decision guide to learn more about your symptoms.
Coughs and Colds
Your chest pain is a symptom that should be evaluated by a doctor right away. Pain in the chest that occurs with breathing can be a sign of pneumonia or it can be a sign of a blood clot in the lung circulation. Pain in the chest that is constant can arise from heart disease. You may require antibiotics or other treatment.
Your doctor is likely to recommend that you have a chest x-ray to evaluate your lungs if you have pain with breathing. Pneumonia, a common cause of chest pain, can be diagnosed with a chest x-ray. Inflammation or fluid beneath a lung (called "pleurisy" or "pleural effusion," respectively) can also result in pain and can be diagnosed by an x-ray. A common cause of a pleural effusion is a blood clot in the lung circulation, a condition called "pulmonary embolus." If your doctor is concerned that your chest pain may be coming from your heart or from a pulmonary embolus, then an electrocardiogram ("ECG," also called "EKG") may be a useful test as well. The diagnosis of a pulmonary embolus can be confirmed by a computed tomography scan (CT scan) of the chest to view the blood vessels.
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