Precordial Catch Syndrome – Treatment, Symptoms, Causes

What is Precordial Catch Syndrome?

Precordial Catch Syndrome is famously known as Texidor’s twinge or Stitch in the Side or PCS. It is more commonly reportedly experience in children and adolescents than in adults. It is reported to cause pain in the chest. It is sometimes confused with heart attack due to the fact that it has somewhat similar symptoms experienced leading them to panic and resulting to a further more symptom experienced.

Sometimes it causes inhaling and exhaling which suddenly occurs which will lead to a sensation of cracking or popping in the person’s chest. However, they are both different conditions. It is a syndrome that is benign and of unknown origin which has a characteristics of pain, which last for about thirty minutes or so, in the cardiac apex made upon whenever the person inhales and is mostly relieved through force of deep breathing. In addition to that, it resolves completely and quickly even without treatment given. This kind of syndrome is sometimes underrecognized.

Precordial Catch Syndrome

Precordial Catch Syndrome History

This kind of syndrome was first named and encountered by Texidor and Miller in the year 1955. The first reported persons that had experienced this kind of syndrome during those times were at the most 10 patients, one of which was Miller, the discoverer. During the year 1978, the Precordial Catch Syndrome was further elaborated by Bird and Sparrow. By this time, there were 45 patients who suffered from such syndrome. By the year 1981, Pickering had been reported to possess the said syndrome. Then, eight years after that, 1989, Reynolds’ children were reported to have the syndrome.

Precordial Catch Syndrome Symptoms, Signs

Persons who were diagnosed to have the said syndrome were reportedly to manifest the following symptoms:

  • Anterior chest pain
  • Sudden onset
  • Localized pain
  • Stabbing pain
  • Dull pain
  • Annoying pain
  • Sharp pain
  • Pain upon movement
  • Pain upon breathing
  • Popping sensation when breathing deeply
  • Ripping sensation when breathing deeply
  • Pain which is needle like
  • Pain last for 30 seconds to 3 minutes
  • Occurs when the person is at an inactive state or whenever a person is at rest
  • Muscle spasm
  • Muscle cramps
  • Pain is exacerbated through breathing deeply
  • Dull ache after the pain is gone
  • Momentary visual loss
  • Blurry vision
  • Sudden resolution
  • Complete resolution
  • No other associated symptoms
  • No other abnormal physical findings

Rare symptoms experienced:

  • Pallor
  • Syncope
  • Near syncope
  • Paresthesias
  • Mild headedness
  • Flushing
  • Palpitations
  • Shallow breathing

The pain associated with this kind of syndrome last for about 30 seconds to a maximum of 3 minutes. It may also occur once or twice in a week. The pain becomes further intense whenever the person sits or lies down. In addition to that, it happens most often to persons who are inactive or who has a sedentary lifestyle.

Causes & Risk Factors

The persons who have Precordial Catch syndrome have an unknown etiological cause. However, the ones who discovered this syndrome, way back 1955, who were Texidor and Miller suggests that pain originates in the person’s parietal pleura which is located in the lungs. Yet, Exeer suggests that pain originates from brief muscle spasm of the intercostals which may be relieved after which the spasm is released. Also, the pain is does not originates via the cardiac region which makes it different from the heart attack. Another theory of this causative factor that leads to experiencing this syndrome is that it is the result of a nerve being pinched. Other physician believes that heavy activity and posture can trigger the person to experience. The major at risk with experiencing this kind of syndrome, as mentioned previously, are persons having a sedentary lifestyle.


Persons who have Precordial Catch syndrome are often diagnosed by an expert physician by:

  • Careful medical history taking assessment
  • Physical examination
  • Radiography
  • Echocardiography
  • Electrocardiography
  • Barium studies

The family needs to reassure that the person having the Precordial Catch syndrome is experiencing the real condition but it is harmless unless it is associated with other disease condition. There is a need to correctly diagnose persons with Precordial catch syndrome so as not to create panic and uncertainty with their love ones and with the patients themselves. Through such health teachings, they are able to gain information with the syndrome that they have.


With regards to treating the Precordial Catch syndrome is through following these simple steps:

  • Whenever the Precordial Catch syndrome happens, you have to breath shallowly
  • Lie down on the bed with the person’s face turning in a downward position
  • Take sudden deep breathing, although painful but is good in relieving muscle spasm

There is no need to use any form of medication to relieve this kind of syndrome, as mentioned earlier, this kind of syndrome happens fast and in a short period of time, maximum of three minutes only. When the diagnosis is done correctly, the fear is relieved. The Precordial catch syndrome may or may not interfere with the normal day to day activity.

Life Expectancy

This kind of syndrome called as the Precordial Catch syndrome imposes no danger to any child or teenager. Despite the fact that the symptoms manifested appear quickly, it also disappears as quickly as it appears. Hence, there is no life expectancy of this kind of syndrome. Their life expectancy will only depend on the type of lifestyle they have and also the condition they are in.


Since, mentioned earlier that the risk factor of this kind of syndrome pertains on persons with having sedentary lifestyle. Hence, it is suggested to prevent experiencing the syndrome, to exercise or engage in an active and healthy lifestyle. The person encountering such Precordial catch syndrome needs to be taught that such syndrome happens momentarily and easily goes away. There is absolutely no need for anyone to panic.

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32 thoughts on “Precordial Catch Syndrome – Treatment, Symptoms, Causes

  • 01/06/2012 at 9:16 PM

    I usually get chest pains and i am terrified this may be signs of heart conditions. How can i differentiate a precordial chest to a real chest pain?

    • 04/06/2012 at 2:48 PM

      Precordial catch syndrome only lasts for a couple of minutes. In a real chest pain that happens in myocardial infarction, the pain does not go away and the pain may also radiate in the left shoulders and arms. Myocardial infarction also feels an impending doom and severe pain. Precordial catch syndrome pain is usually mild to moderate. If you are unsure about your symptoms, it’ s better to consult a physician for cardiac assessments.

  • 28/08/2012 at 7:54 AM

    I thought I had PCS for about a year. After a while I thought about this along with some light-headedness I experienced that seemed worse than it should be when getting up from a seated position. I talked to my doctor and she was unconcerned with a home unit I purchased (I also bought a manual one since even Omron read high when I used them). I tracked my blood pressure throughout this time consistently. I was on blood pressure medication and it had been 320/25 mg Diovan for a little while. I realized my blood pressure was a tad low and I decided to go back to my old dose (160/12.5 mg Diovan) by cutting the pills as I did previously. The symptoms went away completely. I told my doctor later and she was actually not mad that I didn’t tell her first, but accepted my new dosage. Consult your doctor, but consider that your blood pressure medication may be too much and give you similar symptoms.

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  • 30/12/2012 at 11:17 AM

    I am anemic and I had low iron not to long ago… iron level was 2.1 and my doctor said 1 is dead! So I got sent the a hospital……they done a bone marrow test to see if I have lucema or something like that and it came back negative….and so they are seeing if I have fanconi anemia……and I read that both of your parents have to have it neither of them do……..but besides the point is there anyway having low iron or being anemic…well can Precordial Catch Syndrome affect me in anyway with me being anemic?

  • 09/04/2013 at 5:03 PM

    I like the valuable information you supply on your articles. I’ll bookmark your blog and take a look at once more right here frequently. I’m somewhat certain I’ll be told plenty of new stuff right right here! Good luck for the next!

  • 12/04/2013 at 2:14 AM

    From all I’ve read..I am certain that I have experienced Precordial Catch Syndrome..twice..but..I am not in my teens..or a young person. I am in my seventies! The first time this happened I went to the hospital and had all tests pertaining to heart problems..nothing was found. The second time it lasted just a few minutes..was the same kind of pain..same place.

  • 13/04/2013 at 1:46 AM

    how do I remove this e-mail address from this site?

  • 11/05/2013 at 4:46 PM

    This helped alot, thank you. However, I get these almost everyday and they hurt so so much, I have to stop what I’m doing during school and try not to breath because it hurts so much. If I went to the doctors, could they give me any medicine or tablets which could prevent these episodes happening? Or is there any way in which I can stop them myself? thank you.

    • 29/01/2015 at 5:09 AM

      Treatment of precordial catch syndrome consists of a combination of reassurance and instructing the patient to take deep breaths as soon as the pain begins.

  • 23/05/2013 at 3:24 AM

    I have had PCS since i was 18 i am now 43 and have just been diagnosed after many many trips to the hospital, it mimics the feeling of a heart attack. The pain is a sharp stab like pain, but because you are so tensed up when the pain comes, you can get other pains too, i get crushing pains and an aching just above my left lung, its very unpleasant and doctors do not take it seriously since the condition is never fatal, if you bend during an attack it makes it worse, best advice i can give is, try and stay calm during an attack, it will stop your muscles tensing making it worse hope it helps.

  • 09/11/2013 at 6:41 AM

    When I was in my teens I developed this pain suddenly. My Drs. put me through many tests. Only a mild murmur was found, and that was not the cause of the pain. Nobody ever told me what it was. I did my own research.
    It does come suddenly. Over time I figured out that if I slowly exhaled I could “pop” whatever was causing the pain to relieve it much quicker, but it makes it hurt worse. But, forcing the pop makes it immediatley go, although there still is soreness for a few hours. I still get this pain on and off, mostly if I sit for too long in the car.
    It forces me to bend forward and exhale very slowly. Press on the area and either inhale deeply and fast or exhale slow. I can not breath in deep so I exhale. I have had it for 25 yrs. now and I am fine. It is uncomfortable but manageable if you know how to pop the pain away.

  • 30/12/2013 at 12:59 AM

    Ive dealt with the pain since childhood.. I am 32 now.. Yes the pain is scary severe at times.. But i have found a stretching/breathing exercise that helps me out, in inducing that popping sensation that we sometimes encounter before relief.. Not sure if im able to share since im not a physician.. But it helps me..

    • 20/09/2014 at 5:34 PM

      Hey, I’m 25 and this still happens to me every now and then (like right now, actually…). Would love to know your technique to help me get my chest to pop/release. I find even after the extreme sharp pain goes away, a constricting, dull pain remains until I can get it to pop.

  • 20/07/2014 at 3:18 AM

    I just had an attack around an hour ago at 22:03 and it scared me so much that I searched what I was feeling and have been crying reading some of the things i thought it was because some of them were talking about causing heart attacks and there is one quick is similar to PCS and it can cause death so me being 15 started to Panic and it felt like I was close to having another one.Anyway I have tried the technique said above about taking a large breath but I physically can’t ! It hurts do much I can’t move an inch and I can only breath in enough to stay alive.I started crying when I tried it last time because it hurt so much.I am not physically healthy but another problem I have is I cannot do excercise my body just can’t handle it so I think
    I might have something else but I like the thought of having this non life threatening thing just now ! This page was extremely useful Thank god for you and I thank you as well Just THANK YOU SO MUCH !!!

  • 10/09/2014 at 8:36 AM

    Hi, im 14. I allways have the chest pains as listed especially, the poping sensations. But, it happens all over the place, it hurts so bad, I feel like crying and I do freeze. I was diagnosed with PAT heart condition, but they dont think I have it anymore. And the pain usally happens for 20 seconds, also when im excersing and even sitting down! Help please ):

  • 22/09/2014 at 11:46 AM

    Have PCS since teens, happened mostly when active. Breathe deep, it hurts bad then pops & feels better. Had 10 to 12 attacks whole life. 49 now had attack BUT this time will NOT pop or go away! It’s horrible to say least. Been 8 days since attack and still can’t pop it. But here’s the thing…I have fibro myalgia & muscle spams/twitching &other nerve, soft tissue & back injury. So I believe its lingering because of my other conditions & syndromes despite meds. Am semi sedinary but walk as much as I can. Big time bummer!! Anyone with same prob or with any advise?

  • 27/09/2014 at 4:56 PM

    I feel for more than 2 hours i thought it already disappear but when i take a deep breath its still there, what should i do?

  • 27/09/2014 at 4:58 PM

    I feel it for more than 2 hours , what should i do?

  • 18/11/2014 at 8:01 PM

    Hi I also have PCS I also have a heart murrmur will that change anything. I’m only 12 and I’m really scared. I’ve gone to the doctor and they said my murrmur doesn’t have anything to do with this but I’m really scared.

  • 24/11/2014 at 9:38 AM

    im only 12 and this just happened to me so thak you guys for the help

    • 09/08/2015 at 3:47 AM

      same it happened for an hour

  • 11/12/2014 at 4:12 AM

    hey, I am 14 years old.i have almost everything on the side effects on listed, I have allways wondered why this had happened to me….I have PAT heart condition and a hear murmur, and etc, and wondered this is why I have pain etc. I did my own reaserch and bam, I was shocked. it had the exact symptoms….funny thing is, I almost have these things everyday, and my vision gets blurry, I feel like I might pass out cause I cant take a single sip of air. if I do, on a scale of 1-10 , its a 13. no kidding. I cry, and want to scream on the top of my lungs, but I cant. I would randomly stop, and I cant say anything, nor move, cause the pain is so excruciating. it hurts, so bad. and I even have one of the rare symptoms “shallow breathing”. I really hope the doctors can properly diagnose me, its hurts so bad, to the point, everyday, I cant take it. “someone shoot me” to me. please, comment, and suggestions please. :'( im 14.

  • 06/03/2015 at 2:37 PM

    HI, I have had this ever since I was a kid, on & off. Yes, it can be very painful at times. As an adult, I finally went through THOUSANDS of dollars of heart tests. Everything showed that my heart was just fine. It still happens every now & then. The best idea is to learn how to relax, take those tiny shallow breaths, don’t move, and wait for it to pass. Explain to the people you love ahead of time so they don’t bother you when you cannot breathe or talk for a few minutes. Sometimes making myself burp helps. You must eat a LOW INFLAMMATORY diet. I do not recommend trying to make it pop with a big breathe as this can backfire and make it hurt worse. Number one thing is to RELAX, breathe shallow and massage the area. You can also take an anti-inflammatory like ibuprofen but, in the long run, just avoid inflammatory foods like dairy, beef, wheat, corn, soy, peanuts, nuts, shellfish, fried foods, sugary & processed foods since the ibuprofen is bad for you. I am 50yrs old and still get this. It is usually more mild now, possibly due to the diet changes. Don’t bother getting tested… it will probably be a waste of time & money. I used to be a professional athlete and still got it during those times. The best thing is just knowing that you are going to be okay and that it is not serious. I think stressing out makes this (or anything) feel worse!

  • 07/04/2015 at 10:02 AM

    I am in shock that not only is there a name for this pain, but there are other people who have it, too! I’m almost 39. Although I don’t experience the pain too often anymore, it was a common occurrence for me as a child, teen and throughout my 20s. Actually, now that I think about it, the frequency went down after I started having children (I have 3). I was thin in my younger days. I tried to donate blood in college and they told me I was anemic. I also have mitral valve prolapse. I always thought it was a symptom of that. After 3 kids, I’m not that thin anymore. I wonder if that is the reason I don’t have the pain anymore? I can’t even believe this thing has the word “catch” in it. As a child, I would describe the pain as feeling like something was “catching” in my chest. WOW!

  • 20/08/2015 at 8:23 AM

    My 14 year old son has been dealing with pain for 9 months everyday, several times a day-diagnosed with pcs. He has mild cerebral palsey .Ibuprofen don’t help. And taking 900 mg of gabepentin. He has got some relief from accupuncture, and doing massages with natural oils. Now I’m going to watch sugar intake after reading here. But the last three days has been terrible. And going to do some belly breathing to help him relax. We were doing this and had stopped , starting back anything to help him get relief this hurts terrible.

  • 12/10/2015 at 6:38 AM

    Finally found what it is. People thought I was crazy when I explained this “bubble popping” pain. I’ve had this pain very infrequently from when I was young boy at school around 7 years old. Literally I could have years between events. The article reads to have an “active healthy lifestyle” which I do, so I see this as a bit of common sense for your own general well being than a cause.
    I am 27 years old now and the last time it occured was actually in the gym. (Fellow member thought I was having a heart attack.) I personally find that when I beat my chest around the heart region of the chest it helps to get alleviate the pain, also short breaths only prolong the pain for myself. Try to take a long deep breath in and this helps to “pop” the pain away. Hope this helps someone.

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