HomeAnswersCardiologychest painAre symptoms like chest pain, fast heart beat and shortness of breathe concerning cardiac issue?

I have chest and left arm pain with fast heart beat and shortness of breath. Please help.


The following is an actual conversation between an iCliniq user and a doctor that has been reviewed and published as a Premium Q&A.

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Vinodhini J.

Published At July 10, 2020
Reviewed AtJune 27, 2023

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

I have left chest pain above my breast and pain in my left arm. I also have shortness of breath and fast heartbeat. This does not happen all the time. It comes and goes. I have it for about three years I guess. I am not on medications currently.


Welcome to icliniq.com.

Most common cause for this is costochondritis which is an inflammation of the cartilage in the rib cage or anxiety. However other causes need to be excluded. More information about chest pain is needed like character, duration, radiation, what brings it and how does it go, relation to mood, exercise or food?

The Probable causes

The probable cause is costochondritis or anxiety.

Investigations to be done

Do ECG (electrocardiography), X-ray chest and Echocardiography. 24-hour ambulatory ECG (Holter) may be considered. CBC (complete blood count) and Thyroid function test has to be done.

Differential diagnosis

The differential diagnosis are cardiac causes: mitral valve prolapse, pericarditis, coronary artery disease (unlikely in your case), lung causes: bronchial asthma, pleurisy. Musculoskeletal: injured rib, costochondritis, gasterointestinal causes: Gastroesophageal reflux disease, peptic ulcer, hiatus hernia and sychological causes: anxiety, panic attacks, psychosomatic disorder and others: hormonal disturbance.

Regarding follow up

Please reconsult after doing the requested tests.

Same symptoms don't mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Dr. Ahmed Mohamed Mahmoud Goha
Dr. Ahmed Mohamed Mahmoud Goha


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