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USMLE Step 2 CK Buzzwords Buzzwords that should ring a bell in USMLE Step 2 CK exam.


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Old 06-08-2010
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Heart Small Heart Differential Diagnosis

If you see the buzzword "Small Heart" in a clinical vignette in a USMLE Step 2 CK question then you must be thinking of the following the causes:

Adrenocortical insufficiency such as Addison's disease is perhaps the most important cause for the exam.

but also
-Generalized malnutrition such as cancer related cachexia, dehydration, or anorexia nervosa.
-On Chest X ray the heart looks smaller than normal when the lungs are inflated such as in Asthma, COPD, emphysema, and air trapping conditions.
-Presbycardia is very rarely seen in the exam
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