medical translations

What is a STEMI in German?

Even though the German doctors talk of EKG instead of ECG, and are proud to see this shortening being used across the Atlantic too, the more modern nomenclature concerning the heart tracing, especially its abbreviations come from the US and seem to be adopted in German without hesitation.
Germany has played a major role in the history of the “Elektrokardiogramm”, two names associated with heart block, Mobitz1 and  Wenckebach2 were cardiologists teaching at German-speaking Universities.
Although the basic words when interpreting an ECG have kept their Germanic origin; thus we speak of “Wellen” (waves), “Strecken” (segments, intervals), “Komplexe” (complex) and even “Zacken” (peaks). However, when we pose the diagnosis of a ST-elevation myocardial infarction, a STEMI in English, the German might talk of a “ST-Hebungsinfarkt” but still uses the English brief STEMI.  This expression seems to have been adopted by German-speaking medics and their clinical literature. A similar example is the “akutes Koronarsyndrom” (acute coronary syndrome) where the English shortening ACS is widely used in German medical literature.
Is this a sign that the German medical language is slowly being anglicised?


  1. Woldemar Mobitz (31 May 1889 – 11 April 1951) a Russian-German physician
  2. Karel Frederik Wenckebach (March 24, 1864 – November 11, 1940) a Dutch anatomist, cardiologist