Harvard Heart Letter

Chest pain that’s not a heart attack

Chest pain thatís not a heart attack Ask the doctor Q. My brother went to the emergency room because he thought he was having a heart attack. Instead, he was diagnosed with costochondritis. What is that? A. Costochondritis is caused by inflammation of the cartilage between the ribs and the breastbone, called the costosternal joints (see illustration). This uncommon condition can trigger a stabbing, aching pain thatís often mistaken for a…

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