Cardiology Mnemonics

Although the best way to learn cardiology is through experience and repetition, there are times where memorization is the best initial approach. The mnemonics below are the most commonly used in cardiology to help remember key points.

Causes of Atrial Fibrillation: PIRATES

Pulmonary embolism, pulmonary disease, post-operative
Ischemic heart disease, idiopathic (“lone atrial fibrillation”)
Rheumatic valvular disease (mitral stenosis or regurgitation)
Anemia, alcohol (“holiday heart”), age, autonomic tone (vagal atrial fibrillation)
Thyroid disease (hyperthyroidism)
Elevated blood pressure (hypertension), electrocution
Sleep apnea, sepsis, surgery

Findings in acute limb ischemia: The 5 P’s

Pain
Pallor
Pulselessness
Paralysis
Paraesthesia

Atrioventricular node (AV node) blocking agents: ABCD

Adenosine, amiodarone
Beta-blockers
Calcium channel blockers
Digoxin

Cardiac auscultation listening posts: All Physicians Take Money

From right upper sternal border, to left upper sternal border, to left lower sternal border, to cardiac apex.

Aortic valve listening post
Pulmonic valve listening post
Tricuspid valve listening post
Mitral valve listening post

Cardioselective beta-blockers: Beta-blockers Acting Exclusively At Myocardium

Betaxolol
Atenolol
Esmolol
Acebutolol
Metoprolol

Side-effects of ACE inhibitors: CAPTOPRIL

Cough
Angioedema
Potassium excess
Taste changes
Orthostatic hypotension
Pregnancy contraindication/Pressure drop (hypotension)
Renal failure/Rash
Indomethacin inhibition
Leukopenia (rare)

Contraindications to ACE inhibitors: PARK

Pregnancy
Allergy/Angioedema
Renal artery stenosis/Renal failure
K - hyperkalemia (potassium > 5.5)

ECG Causes of ST segment elevation: ELEVATION

Electrolyte abnormalities
Left bundle branch block
Aneurysm of left ventricle
Ventricular hypertrophy
Arrhythmia disease (Brugada syndrome, ventricular tachycardia)
Takotsubo/Treatment (iatrogenic pericarditis)
Injury (myocardial infarction or cardiac contusion)
Osborne waves (hypothermia or hypocalcemia)
Non-atherosclerotic (vasospasm or Prinzmetal’s angina)

Treatment of acute coronary syndromes: MONA B

Morphine
Oxygen
Nitrates
Aspirin
Beta-blockers

Cyanotic congenital heart disease (right to left shunts): The 5 T’s

Truncus arteriosus
Transposition of the great arteries
Tricuspid atresia
Tetralogy of Fallot
Total anomalous pulmonary venous return

Tetralogy of Fallot: PROVe

Pulmonary stenosis
Right ventricular hypertrophy
Overriding aorta
Ventricular septal defect

Secondary hypertension causes: ABCDEF

Apnea (obstructive sleep apnea), Acromegaly, Accuracy (incorrect measurement)
Birth control, Bad kidney
Coarctation of the aorta, Cushing’s syndrome, Conn’s syndrome, Catecholamines
Drugs (alcohol, nasal decongestants, estrogens)
Endocrine disorders, erythropoietin
Fibromuscular dysplasia

Amiodarone Side-Effects + Toxicity: BITCH

Bradycardia/Blue man
Interstitial Lung Disease
Thyroid (hyper and hypo)
Corneal (occular)/Cutaneous (skin)
Hepatic/Hypotension when IV (due to solvents)

Ventricular Tachycardia Treatment: LAMB

Lidocaine
Amiodarone
Mexiletine/Magnesium (for polymorphic VT or Torsades)
Beta-blockers/Bang (cardioversion)

Causes of elevated jugular venous pressure: PQRST

Pericardial effusion (causing cardiac tamponade and "Kussmal's sign")
Quantity - volume overload from congestive heart failure
Right heart failure
Superior vena cava obstruction (SVC syndrome)
Tricuspid regurgitation (V waves)/Tricuspid stenosis

Complications of Myocardial Infarction: CRAP

Cardiogenic shock/Congestive Heart Failure/CVA (from LV thrombus)
RV infarct/Rupture of left ventricle (causing cardiac tamponade)
Acute mitral regurgitation, Acute ventricular septal defect, Aneurysm, Arrhythmia
Pericarditis (from infarct or Dressler's)