An algorithm for the diagnosis and management of chest pain in primary care

Med Clin North Am. 2010 Mar;94(2):349-74. doi: 10.1016/j.mcna.2010.01.011.


This article focuses on the key clinical and investigatory features that help differentiate the multiple causes of chest pain in adults in assessment of patients with undifferentiated chest pain in primary care using history, physical examination, and basic initial investigations. The initial treatment of many of the causes is discussed. Some treatments not only relieve symptoms but also provide further diagnostic information based on the response to treatment. Guidance for referral for specialist assessment and further investigations is provided, but the diagnostic usefulness of these measures is not discussed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / complications
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / diagnosis
  • Chest Pain* / diagnosis
  • Chest Pain* / economics
  • Chest Pain* / epidemiology
  • Clinical Competence
  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / complications
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Lung Diseases / complications
  • Lung Diseases / diagnosis
  • Medical History Taking
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / complications
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / diagnosis
  • Physical Examination
  • Primary Health Care*
  • Psychophysiologic Disorders / complications
  • Psychophysiologic Disorders / diagnosis
  • Risk Assessment
  • Skin Diseases / complications
  • Skin Diseases / diagnosis
  • Time Factors