Definition of Precordial catch syndrome (PCS)

Precordial catch syndrome (PCS): This non-serious condition involves the nerves and can cause sharp or stabbing pain in the chest. It is most common in children and teens. The pain comes on suddenly, may last for a few minutes, and is usually located in the lower left chest. The exact cause of PCS is unknown, although it may involve an irritation of the nerves in the chest wall or the lining of the lung (pleura). There are no other symptoms, and the pain goes away on its own, usually after a few minutes. There are no long-term complications, and it does not cause heart or lung damage.


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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.

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