John P. Cunha, DO, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Cunha's educational background includes a BS in Biology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a DO from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, MO. He completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
Mitral valve prolapse: Mitral valve prolapse is an abnormality of one of the heart valves in which
the "leaves" of the valve bulge into the upper heart chamber during
contraction. When this occurs, a small amount of blood flows backward in the
heart. This is believed by some to be a cause of chest pain in certain people,
although this has not been proven with certainty.
Pneumonia is an infection of the lung tissue. Chest pain occurs because of
inflammation to the lining of the lungs.
Disorders of the esophagus: Chest pain from esophageal disorders
can be an alarming symptom because it often mimics chest pain from a heart attack.
Acid reflux disease
(gastroesophageal reflux disease, GERD, heartburn) occurs
when acidic digestive juices flow backward from the stomach into the
esophagus. The resulting heartburn is sometimes experienced as chest
Esophageal spasm is defined as excessive, intensified, or uncoordinated contractions of the smooth muscle of the esophagus.
Costochondritis: This is an inflammation of the cartilage between the
ribs. Pain is typically located in the mid-chest, with intermittently dull and
sharp pain that may be increased with deep breaths, movement, and deep
Herpes zoster: Also known as shingles, this is a
reactivation of the viral infection that causes chickenpox. With shingles, a rash occurs, usually only on one small part of the body. The pain, often very severe, is usually confined to the area of the rash. The pain may precede the rash by 4-7 days. Risk factors include any condition in which the immune system is compromised, such as advanced age,
cancer. Herpes zoster is highly contagious to people who have not had chickenpox or have not been vaccinated against chickenpox for the five days before and the five days after the appearance of the rash.