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Chest pain, breathlessness, and fatigue 

Chest pain, breathlessness, and fatigue
Chapter:
Chest pain, breathlessness, and fatigue
Author(s):

Jeremy Dwight

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198746690.003.0340
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date: 28 February 2021

The symptoms of chest pain, breathlessness, and fatigue present a frequent diagnostic challenge in the outpatient and acute medical departments, as well as the emergency department. They have a broad differential diagnosis that includes several life-threatening pathologies. The cardiovascular history routinely includes assessment of risk factors and those aspects of the patient’s past medical history that make cardiovascular disease more likely. The presence of numerous risk factors may, on occasion, prompt the physician to proceed to further investigation even in the face of a relatively unconvincing history.

Most diagnoses are made on the basis of patient history, and the physician is always compelled to return to the initial history and examination to put the findings of any investigations into context and to plan therapy appropriate for the individual patient.

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