Intermountain Heart Institute at Intermountain Medical Center

(801) 507-4701Map5121 S. Cottonwood StreetMurray, UT 84107

Chest pain describes many different sensations, such as a sharp pain, dull ache, pressure, or burning and can signal many different conditions, including a heart attack. It should always be taken seriously.

What to Do

Common Causes

Chest pain can be caused by a number of health conditions. Many of these are serious, and some are medical emergencies.

  • Heart Attack

  • Angina

    Angina is pressure or tightness in your chest that doesn't last and is brought on by physical or emotional stress. Angina can be an early warning sign of heart attack. Call your healthcare provider for evaluation.

  • Aortic Dissection

    The inner layer of the aorta's artery wall splits open. Patients experience very severe pain often described as a "tearing pain." It's associated with cold sweat. The pain may be felt at the front or back of the chest. Usually the pain moves as the dissection gets worse. Call 911.

  • Coronary Artery Disease

    Coronary artery disease is a narrowing of the arteries that supply blood and oxygen to the heart.

  • Heart Failure

    Heart failure is a condition in which the heart can't pump enough blood to meet the body's needs.

  • Heart Valve Disease

    Heart valve disease means that one or more valves in the heart is damaged causing problems with blood flow.

  • Pericarditis

    Pericarditis is an inflammation of the thin sac (pericardium) surrounding the heart. Patients usually experience a sharp, piercing pain over the center or left side of the chest that may spread to the neck and left shoulder. (Less often the pain is dull.) Often the pain gets worse with deep breathing or lying flat. A fever is also common. Often people with pericarditis report feeling sick. Some have pain when they swallow. Call 911.

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