List of important Pathology Mnemonics

Pathology mnemonics for easy memorization of forgetful stuff. They are specially helpful for USMLE and other licensing exams. This is ever growing dynamic list of mnemonics, please add yours comments to them.

Acute intermittent porphyria: signs and symptoms Mnemonic

5 Ps:[1]

Pain in the abdomen

Polyneuropathy

Psychological abnormalities

Pink urine

Precipitated by drugs (including barbiturates, oral contraceptives, and sulfa drugs)

Acute ischemia: signs [especially limbs] Mnemonic

6 **P’**s:

Pain

Pallor

Pulselessness

Paralysis

Paraesthesia

Perishingly cold

Anemia (normocytic): causes Mnemonic

ABCD:

Acute blood loss

Bone marrow failure

Chronic disease

Destruction (hemolysis)

Anemia causes (simplified) Mnemonic

ANEMIA:

Anemia of chronic disease

No folate or B12

Ethanol

Marrow failure & hemaglobinopathies

Iron deficient

Acute & chronic blood loss

Atherosclerosis risk factors Mnemonic

“You’re a SAD BET with these risk factors”:

Sex: male

Age: middle-aged, elderly

Diabetes mellitus

BP high: hypertension

Elevated cholesterol

Tobacco

Carcinoid syndrome: components Mnemonic

CARCinoid:

Cutaneous flushing

Asthmatic wheezing

Right sided valvular heart lesions

Cramping and diarrhea

Cushing syndrome Mnemonic

CUSHING:

Central obesity/ Cervical fat pads/ Collagen fiber weakness/ Comedones (acne)

Urinary free corisol and glucose increase

Striae/ Suppressed immunity

Hypercortisolism/ Hypertension/ Hyperglycemia/ Hirsutism

Iatrogenic (Increased administration of corticosteroids)

Noniatrogenic (Neoplasms)

Glucose intolerance/Growth retardation

Diabetic ketoacidosis: I vs. II Mnemonic

ketONEbodies are seen in type ONEdiabetes.

Gallstones: risk factors Mnemonic

5 F’s:

Fat

Female

Fair (gallstones more common in Caucasians)

Fertile (premenopausal- increased estrogen is thought to increase cholesterol levels in bile and decrease gallbladder contractions)

Forty or above (age)[2]

Hepatomegaly: 3 common causes, 3 rarer causes Mnemonic

Common are 3 **C’**s:

Cirrhosis

Carcinoma

Cardiac failure

Rarer are 3 **C’**s:

Cholestasis

Cysts

Cellular infiltration

Hyperkalemia (signs and symptoms) Mnemonic

MURDER[3]

Muscle weakness

Urine: oliguria, anuria

Respiratory distress

Decreased cardiac contractility

EKG changes (peaked T waves; QRS widening)

Reflexes: Hyperreflexia or areflexia (flaccid)

Hypernatremia (signs and symptoms) Mnemonic

FRIED SALT[3]

FRIED

Fever (low), Flushed skin

Restless (irritable)

Increased fluid retention, Increased blood pressure

Edema (peripheral and pitting)

Decreased urinary output, Dry mouth

SALT

Skin flushed

Agitated

Low-grade fever

Thirst

Inflammatory Bowel Disease: which has cobblestones Mnemonic

Crohn’s has Cobblestones on endoscopy.

Morphine: effects Mnemonic

MORPHINES:

Miosis

Orthostatic hypotension or “Out of it”

Respiratory depression

Pain suppression or Pneumonia

Histamine release or Hormonal alterations or Hypotension

Increased ICT or Infrequency (constipation, or urinary retention)

Nausea

Euphoria or Emesis

Sedation

Kwashiorkor: distinguishing from Marasmus Mnemonic

FLAME:

Fatty

Liver

Anemia

Malabsorption

Edema

Pancreatitis: causes Mnemonic

I GET SMASHED:

Idiopathic/Infection/Ischaemic

Gallstones

Ethanol

Trauma

Steroids/surgery

Mumps/malnutrition/mechanical obstruction/metabolic

Autoimmune : Vasculitis

Scorpion sting

Hyperlipidaemia/hypercalcaemia/hereditary/hyperparathyroidism/hypermagnesia

ERCP

Drugs : Isoniazid, Thiazides, Azathioprine, Valproic Acid, Estrogen [4]

PKU findings Mnemonic

PKU:

Pale hair, skin

Krazy (neurological abnormalities)

Unpleasant smell

Pupils in overdose: morphine vs. amphetamine Mnemonic

“MorPHINE:Fine. AmPHETamine:Fat”:

Morphine overdose: pupils constricted (fine).

Amphetamine overdose: pupils dilated (fat).

Pericarditis findings Mnemonic

PERICarditis:

Pulsus paradoxus

ECG changes

Rub

Increased JVP

Chest pain [worse on inspiration, better when leaning forward]

Gout vs. pseudo gout: crystal lab findings Mnemonic

P seudogout crystals are:

P ositive birefringent

P olygon shaped

Gout therefore is the negative needle shaped crystals. Also, gout classically strikes the great Toe, and its hallmark is Tophi.

Signs of Chronic Liver Disease Mnemonic

abcdefghij

Asterixis, Ascites, Ankle oedema, Atrophy of testicles

Bruising

Clubbing/ Colour change of nails (leuconychia)

Dupuytren’s contracture

Encephalopathy / palmar Erythema

Foetor hepaticus

Gynaecomastia

Hepatomegaly

Increase size of parotids

Jaundice

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