E _ G (No, the answer isn’t “F”)

Have you noticed how many medical test acronyms start with E and end with G? I can never keep them straight, so I thought some of you might also have trouble knowing which middle letter goes with which test. These definitions are taken from the Internet, so if anyone sees a change that should be made, please let us all know!

“Electromyography (EMG) is a diagnostic procedure to assess the health of muscles and the nerve cells that control them (motor neurons). EMG results can reveal nerve dysfunction, muscle dysfunction or problems with nerve-to-muscle signal transmission.” [Now I know to associate “M” with muscles.]

“An electroencephalogram (EEG) is a test used to evaluate the electrical activity in the brain. Brain cells communicate with each other through electrical impulses. An EEG can be used to help detect potential problems associated with this activity.” [Two “E”s for extra brain power? Maybe one of you can give me a better memory association idea for this one.]

“An electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) records the electrical signal from your heart to check for different heart conditions. Electrodes are placed on your chest to record your heart’s electrical signals, which cause your heart to beat. The signals are shown as waves on an attached computer monitor or printer.” [I was going to associate “C” or “K” with electricity, but both EKG and EEG tests measure electrical signals, so I’ll have to think of some way to remember that ECG or EKG has to do with the heart. Any ideas???]

Acronyms make communication easier and harder!

Next month – More Acronyms!

4 thoughts on “E _ G (No, the answer isn’t “F”)”

  1. Thanks for this, Barbara! I have often wondered what an EMG is. I knew EEG and EKG/ECG. I remember the “C/K” in the acronym because “C” is for cardio and when you engage in cardio exercises, you want to measure your heart rate to see if you are at an acceptable rate – not too high and not too low. Also, the Latin word for heart is “cor.” I took three years of Latin in high school to prepare for the college entrance exams and you learn a lot about where many English words originated.

    I can’t think of a good memory trigger for EEG. Unfortunately, I came across this one when a friend and a relative of a relative were in comas (not at the same time) and the hospitals ran this test on them. If I think of a good trigger, I will let you know.

    Thanks again for this information!


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