Chest Pain Clinic

Chest pain is a common symptom and may be quite harmless.  However, it often leads to anxiety and worry about the possibility of heart conditions, such as angina.

Angina may be caused by a narrowing in one or more of the blood vessels that supply the heart muscles with oxygen, leading to episodes of cramp in the heart muscle. These blood vessels, known as the coronary arteries, run over the surface of the heart, they can become narrowed by a build-up of cholesterol from the blood stream. Whilst angina does not damage the heart, it can be a warning of an impending heart attack, when a coronary artery becomes completely blocked, cutting off the blood supply to part of the heart muscle.

At Alexander House, we run a dedicated chest pain clinic to rapidly assess individuals with chest pain, aiming to reach a timely and accurate diagnosis of the cause of the pain.  The assessment begins with a detailed history and medical examination by a senior consultant cardiologist.  This may be followed by on-site cardiac tests, including both resting and exercise (treadmill) electrocardiograms (ECGs)to record the patterns of electrical activity in the heart and an echocardiogram, a form of ultrasound scan of the heart, to look at the function of the heart muscles and valves.  Blood samples are also taken on-site, to measure the heart muscle enzyme levels, which, if raised can indicate a recent heart attack.  We also check cholesterol and blood sugar levels, full blood count and kidney and liver function. Blood samples are sent by motorbike courier to the Doctors Laboratory in central London and most results are available within 12 hours.

Through our close links with local private hospitals, such as Parkside and the New Victoria, same day chest X-rays can be arranged to look for other non-cardiac causes of chest pain.  Alexander House also has long established links with the European Scanning Centre in Harley Street and the Royal Brompton Hospital in Chelsea, giving rapid access to more advanced heart tests, such as nuclear scans, cardiac MRI and non-invasive assessment of the coronary arteries by CT coronary angiography, using the worlds more advanced CT scanner, the 640 slice Toshiba Aquilon One.

Whenever possible, the results of all completed tests, including a likely diagnosis and detailed management plan, are sent to a patient's GP or referring doctors within 48 hours.