Acute nontraumatic chest pain is a common presenting symptom to the emergency department. Often, it is evaluated by thin-collimation multidetector computed tomography scan (MDCT) using pulmonary embolism, aortic dissection, or coronary artery protocols. The parameters used for these protocols are very similar to those used in protocols for dedicated imaging of the musculoskeletal system. In essence, every MDCT of the chest is also a musculoskeletal examination of the chest. Familiarity with the MDCT-imaging appearance of common musculoskeletal causes of acute nontraumatic chest pain aids in interpretation of the images. This article discusses the MDCT appearance of a number of musculoskeletal causes of chest pain, including those of infectious, rheumatologic, and systemic causes.
- Chest pain
- Multidetector CT