How does the German Medical Literature handle English abbreviations?
The German-speaking doctors, just like American ones, talk of EKG and not ECG.
It’s short for “Elektro – Kardio – Gramm” – yes, the German version of Electrocardiogram. This is a rare example where a German abbreviation is used internationally (I can’t think of another, please comment if you do.)
In current German practice, the nomenclature concerning cardiology, especially abbreviations, are taken over from English — the US-English.
Germany has always been at the forefront of EKG technology.
Indeed, two names associated with heart block, Mobitz (Woldemar Mobitz, a Russian-German physician) and Wenckebach (Karel Frederik Wenckebach a Dutch anatomist/cardiologist) were both cardiologists teaching at German-speaking Universities.
The basic terms used to interpret an ECG have not changed their Germanic origin; such as:
“Strecken” (segments, intervals),
However, when referring to an ST-elevation myocardial infarction, the German Medics use the English brief STEMI. When using the non-abbreviated term, it is mostly described as “ST-Hebungsinfarkt”. This abbreviation is one of many examples where German-speaking medics have adopted an English expression into their clinical literature.
Interestingly, when you check EKG in the Duden, you are shown an example of a STEMI
A similar example is the “akutes Koronarsyndrom” (acute coronary syndrome) where the English shortening ACS is widely used in German medical literature. Another sign that the German medical language is slowly being anglicised.