Dysphagia Mnemonic (difficulty swallowing):
Having trouble remembering all the important questions to ask during your patient encounter? Then try this Dysphagia Mnemonic (difficulty swallowing) for USMLE Step 2 CS.
- HEENT: Check throat for erythema and exudate
- Neck exam: Check for lymphadenopathy, thyromegaly
- Cardiovascular exam: Auscultation
- Pulmonary exam: Auscultation
- Abdominal exam: Inspection, auscultation, palpation, percussion.
- Skin: check for signs of scleroderma/CREST.
- Esophageal cancer (Dysphagia starts with Solids and progresses to liquids. Hx of chronic alcoholism, smoking & weight loss )
- Achalasia (Dysphasia for BOTH solid and liquids)
- Esophagitis (Pain on swallowing. Immunocompromised “e.g. HIV, Corticosteroids”)
- Systemic Sclerosis (Look for CREST syndrome)
- Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease ‘GERD’ (Cough at nights, Hoarseness, sore throat)
- Plummer-Vinson syndrome (Iron deficiency anemia, sore throat, craving ice, dirt, clay…)
- Zenker diverticulum (Halitosis, regurgitation)
- Pill-induced esophagitis (e.g. Bisphosphonates)
- Mitral Stenosis (look for an immigrant or a pregnant female)
- Serum iron, ferritin, TIBC
- Throat culture
- HIV antibody and viral load, CD4 count
- Chest X-ray
- Barium swallow
- Esophageal manometry
- Chest CT
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