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Chest Pain in Healthy Teens May Spell Heart Attack

Chest Pain in Healthy Teens May Spell Heart Attack

AKRON, Ohio, Oct. 3 -- Myocardial infarction, although rare, can occur in adolescents even in the absence of congenital heart defects or drug abuse.

Although MI may not usually come to mind for otherwise healthy teens, acute typical chest pain in the emergency department should not be dismissed as noncardiac, as illustrated by a small case series reported in the October issue of the journal Pediatrics.

"Emergency care for adolescents with chest pain should include cardiac enzyme and electrocardiographic workups," said John R. Lane, M.D., and Giora Ben-Shachar, M.D., both of Akron Children's Hospital.

Over a period of 11 years, nine otherwise healthy patients ages 12 to 20 came to their hospital's emergency department with chest pain radiating from the left arm or jaw and met established criteria for acute MI.

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