Cardiology Board Exam Review Made Easy: Study Materials To Help You Review and Ace Your Cardiology Exam


Subscribe to our FREE Newsletter >>    

 Links & Resources
- General Surgery Board Review
ABSITE High Yield Series
Surgery SHELF Exam Review
CT Board Review
CT Oral Board Review
Cardiology Board Review

 Online Store
- Buy Books Online
- Eating for Healthy Heart
- Understanding Heart Disease
- High Blood Pressure & Stroke

 Contact Us
About This Site

Cardiology Board Exam Review Samples

Below you will find a sampling of cardiology board exam review questions. Note the variety of formats. Some are short answer with a quick response, while others require interpretation and synthesis of a variety of sources of information with a longer answer. Many of the questions include pearls of wisdom and links to clinical images that you should know for your exam.

>> Want More? Sign up today for a special offer on a board review package. Click Here.

1. A 34 Year Old with Flu-like symptoms and Chest Pain

A 34 year old woman is admitted for malaise, fatigue, subjective fevers and chest pains that are not exacerbated or lessened by any maneuver or changes in activity all over the past 2 days. Her personal and family medical history is unremarkable. She does not use any alcohol or drugs.

On Exam, she is febrile at 38.1 degress Celsius, BP is 112/78, HR is 121 bpm. She is alert and oriented. JVP is mildly increased. Cardiac exam reveals tachycardia, S1 S2 and an S3. Lungs were clear. Chest xray showed mild congestion and cardiomegaly. Her CBC, Chemistry, LFTs, TSH, ANA are all normal. Her troponin was mildly elevated. An echo shows an EF of 30% with mild MR and a trivial pericardial effusion. Her EKG is shown.

What's your next best step in management?

A. Add amiodarone.
B. Add captopril and carvidelol.
C. Give IV steroids.
D. Give tissue plasminogen activator.
E. Give ceftriaxone and vancomycin.


This young patient has acute myocarditis, or even myo-pericarditis. With her EKG, symptoms, echo, and clinical findings, myocarditis is the only possibility. Occasionally, echos can show regional wall motion abnormalities mimicking acute MI, but the diffuse ST elevations, PR depression shown on the EKG indiciate myocarditis. Sometimes atrial dysrhythmias are seen (atrial tachycardia, atrial flutter and atrial fibrillation). The treatment of choice in this case is supportive and treatment for heart failure.

Steroids have not shown improvement in recovery and may even worsen it.

Of note, screening for HIV and hepatitis can sometimes reveal the diagnosis, but usually these cardiomyopathies are asymptomatic until the EF drops low enough to cause CHF symptoms.

There are some myocarditities which do not recover, though predicting which will is very difficult.

>> Want More Tricky EKGs? Sign up today for a special offer on a board review package. Click Here.


2.   Pressure Volume Loop Interpretations

What caused the shift from curve A to curve B?

A. Labetalol
B. Infiltrative Cardiomyopathy
C. Amlodipine
D. Dopamine


In this case, a Starling curve is on the left and a Force-Tension curve is on the right. These show no change in preload on the left curve, but a drop in stroke volume which means a drop in contractility. On the right, there is a drop in afterload but also a drop in contractility. Only labetalol and drop afterload (alpha) and decrease contractility. Remember: Think simply for the boards.

>> Want More Pressure Volume Loops? Sign up today for a special offer on a board review package. Click Here.


3. A Young Lady with New Arrhythmia and Repaired Tetralogy

A 31 year old woman with new atrial fibrillation starting last week with a history of Tetralogy of Fallot repaired at 18 months old presents to your clinic. Her exam shows a BP of 125/80, heart rate is irregular and at 74 beats per minute. A II/VI systolic murmur which is holosytolic is heard along the lower left sternal border. Additionally, a II/VI early decrescendo diastolic murmur is heard in the second left intercostal space. An EKG shows atrial fibrillation with a RBBB.

Which of the following is the most likely reason that this patient developed atrial fibrillation?

A. Aortic and mitral valve regurgitation.
B. Pulmonary and tricuspid regurgitation.
C. Residual VSD (ventricular septal defect).
D. RV outflow obstruction with significant gradient.


This patient has a history of TOF with repair, usually involving a transannular pulmonary outflow tract patch which usually causes severe pulmonic regurgitation (the diastolic murmur heard on exam). It is usually associated with elevated JVP and increase in the murmur during inspiration. The holosytolic murmur is tricuspid regurgitation which leads to right atrial enlargement and the risk of atrial arrhythmia.

ToF is the most common cyanotic congenital heart disease accounting for 10% of all congenital defects. It is important to know about this condition and sequelae of the repair for the boards.

>> Want More Congenital Heart Disease Questions? Sign up today for a special offer on a board review package. Click Here.


(c) 2014 by Dr. Freeman. All Rights Reserved. | Terms Of Use | Privacy Notice



A Family Site :: | | | |
      | | | |