The next article Medical English Terminology – Coronary Disease (p1) talks about terms related to coronary physiology. Now, let’s learn the terms of symptomatology.

According to Bate’s Physical examination and history of taking, the most common complaints in cardiovascular disease are:


  1. Chest pain: Chest pain
  2. Palpitations: Palpitations
  3. Shortness of breath: Shortness of breath. Orthopnea: Shortness of breath while lying down. Paroxysmal dyspnea: Paroxysmal dyspnea
  4. Swelling or edema: Swelling or edema


Ask the patient’s symptoms of chest pain:

Medical history:

  1. Very sudden onset: Very sudden onset (onset: disease onset)
  2. Severe pain: So hurt
  3. Collapse/Syncope: Fainting / Fainting
  4. Pain on exercise: Pain on exertion (exercise is exertion, the same as the word exertion, please don’t translate as exercise, for example, exercise-related or exercise-induced asthma translated as exertional asthma. Only in rehabilitation medicine then we translate exercise as rehabilitation exercise)
  5. Fearing death: Fear of death (Death phobia comes to the patient, this state is often described as extreme distress strong agitation/panic. Obviously from distress much different in meaning from the word discomfort which means chest pain, chest tightness, or heaviness in the chest like patients often complain to doctors ^^


  1. Is the patient unwell? Does this patient have any problems?
  2. Are they shocked? Is the patient in shock?
  3. In severe pain? Is the patient experiencing severe chest pain?
  4. In need of immediate resuscitation? Need immediate resuscitation?

Check if the symptoms you asked are complete?


And finally, download the clinical record to bring when asking about the disease in the cardiology department, helping you to remember vocabulary and helping to take notes in an easy-to-observe sequence. In the past, I used to like to take notes of the heart sounds or check the heart according to the diagram below (Download)


Wish you all good study!

Dr. Nguyen Thai Duy

Medical English – DR Duy

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