Figure A shows normal anatomy. Figure B shows lungs with pleurisy in the right lung, and a pneumothorax of the left lung.
Potential location of pain from a heart attack
Pleurisy
A blockage of coronary arteries can lead to a heart attack
Pleural linings and space (marked in blue)
Gastroesophageal reflux disease is a common cause of chest pain in adults
The illustration shows a person undergoing thoracentesis. The person sits upright and leans on a table. Excess fluid from the pleural space is drained into a bag.

This can result in a sharp chest pain while breathing.

- Pleurisy

Other common causes include gastroesophageal reflux disease (30%), muscle or skeletal pain (28%), pneumonia (2%), shingles (0.5%), pleuritis, traumatic and anxiety disorders.

- Chest pain
Figure A shows normal anatomy. Figure B shows lungs with pleurisy in the right lung, and a pneumothorax of the left lung.

3 related topics

Alpha

Chest X-ray of a pneumonia caused by influenza and Haemophilus influenzae, with patchy consolidations, mainly in the right upper lobe (arrow)

Pneumonia

Inflammatory condition of the lung primarily affecting the small air sacs known as alveoli.

Inflammatory condition of the lung primarily affecting the small air sacs known as alveoli.

Chest X-ray of a pneumonia caused by influenza and Haemophilus influenzae, with patchy consolidations, mainly in the right upper lobe (arrow)
Main symptoms of infectious pneumonia
The bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae, a common cause of pneumonia, imaged by an electron microscope
Cavitating pneumonia due to MRSA as seen on a CT scan
A chest x-ray of a patient with severe viral pneumonia due to SARS
Pneumonia fills the lung's alveoli with fluid, hindering oxygenation. The alveolus on the left is normal, whereas the one on the right is full of fluid from pneumonia.
A chest X-ray showing a very prominent wedge-shaped area of airspace consolidation in the right lung characteristic of acute bacterial lobar pneumonia
CT of the chest demonstrating right-sided pneumonia (left side of the image)
A pleural effusion: as seen on chest X-ray. The A arrow indicates fluid layering in the right chest. The B arrow indicates the width of the right lung. The volume of the lung is reduced because of the collection of fluid around the lung.
Deaths from lower respiratory infections per million persons in 2012
WPA poster, 1936/1937
Pneumonia seen by ultrasound
Right middle lobe pneumonia in a child as seen on plain X-ray

Symptoms typically include some combination of productive or dry cough, chest pain, fever, and difficulty breathing.

Maimonides (1135–1204 AD) observed: "The basic symptoms that occur in pneumonia and that are never lacking are as follows: acute fever, sticking pleuritic pain in the side, short rapid breaths, serrated pulse and cough."

Shortness of breath

Uncomfortable feeling of not being able to breathe well enough.

Uncomfortable feeling of not being able to breathe well enough.

Acute coronary syndrome frequently presents with retrosternal chest discomfort and difficulty catching the breath.

Pneumothorax presents typically with pleuritic chest pain of acute onset and shortness of breath not improved with oxygen.

An ECG showing pericarditis. Note the ST elevation in multiple leads with slight reciprocal ST depression in aVR.

Pericarditis

Inflammation of the pericardium, the fibrous sac surrounding the heart.

Inflammation of the pericardium, the fibrous sac surrounding the heart.

An ECG showing pericarditis. Note the ST elevation in multiple leads with slight reciprocal ST depression in aVR.
Figure A shows the location of the heart and a normal heart and pericardium (the sac surrounding the heart). The inset image is an enlarged cross-section of the pericardium that shows its two layers of tissue and the fluid between the layers. Figure B shows the heart with pericarditis. The inset image is an enlarged cross-section that shows the inflamed and thickened layers of the pericardium.
Diffuse ST elevation in a young male due to myocarditis / pericarditis
An ECG showing pericarditis. Note the ST elevation in multiple leads with slight reciprocal ST depression in aVR.
Ultrasounds showing a pericardial effusion in someone with pericarditis
A pericardial effusion as seen on CXR in someone with pericarditis

Symptoms typically include sudden onset of sharp chest pain, which may also be felt in the shoulders, neck, or back.

Substernal or left precordial pleuritic chest pain with radiation to the trapezius ridge (the bottom portion of scapula on the back) is the characteristic pain of pericarditis.