While chest pain in children is common, finding that it is related to a heart condition is not. More than 95 percent of children who have chest pain are not diagnosed with heart problems.
However, in rare cases, children with chest pain may be diagnosed either with a heart condition that has been present since birth (called a congenital heart defect) or with acquired heart disease (through, for example, an infection).
Cardiac causes of chest pain in children may include the following:
- Abnormal coronary artery anatomy: In this condition branches of the coronary arteries (the blood vessels that supply blood to the heart) arise and travel abnormally from a bigger blood vessel.
- Pericarditis: The pericardium (the sac surrounding the heart) is inflamed and there may be fluid buildup around the heart (pericardial effusion).
- Myocarditis: The heart muscle itself is inflamed.
- Kawasaki disease: The coronary arteries become inflamed and aneurysms (weak portions in the artery wall) may form.
- Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy: The heart muscle becomes abnormally thickened.
- Abnormal heart rhythms
- Connective tissue disorders, such as Marfan syndrome