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Doctor insights on: Differential Diagnosis

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Dr. Jeffrey Stevens
3 Doctors shared insights

Differential Diagnosis (Overview)

Is a process of elimination, to look at several possibilities for diagnosing a probable illness, through process of elimination, to narrow those probabilities, so as a final diagnosis is made.


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What's a differential diagnosis?

What's a differential diagnosis?

Differential diag.: A differential diagnosis is compiling all of the signs and symtoms of a disease that the patient presents with and arriving at the possibilites of what may be their illness. Each possible diagnosis is either ruled in or ruled out based on findings upon physical exam, laboratory tests, xrays, ct scans, mri, etc. ...Read more

Dr. Jeffrey Stevens
3 Doctors shared insights

Differential Diagnosis (Overview)

Is a process of elimination, to look at several possibilities for diagnosing a probable illness, through process of elimination, to narrow those probabilities, so as a final diagnosis is made.


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What is the definition or description of: differential diagnosis?

Diff. Dx: Is a process of elimination, to look at several possibilities for diagnosing a probable illness, through process of elimination, to narrow those probabilities, so as a final diagnosis is made. ...Read more

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What is the differential diagnosis for fibromyalgia?

What is the differential diagnosis for fibromyalgia?

Too much to mention.: Fibromyalgia is a complex condition with associated allodynia or severe pain on pressure points which are widespread in the body, the differential diagnosis include depression, other types of myofascial pain stress related muscle spasms. Rather tan differential diagnosis, fibromyalgia is associated with a lot of somatic conditions like tmj. It usually is associated with sleep disturbances. ...Read more

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What is the likely differential diagnosis of cervicitis?

What is the likely differential diagnosis of cervicitis?

Vaginitis: Most commonly, cervicitis is the result of an infection, although it can also be caused by injury or irritation (as a reaction to the chemicals in douches and contraceptives, for example, or a forgotten tampon).
The three most common infectious causes of cervicitis are chlamydia, gonorrhea, and trichomonas. All three are considered sexually transmitted diseases. ...Read more

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Help please? What is the differential diagnosis of malaria, and what does it mean?

DDx of malaria: The differential diagnosis of malaria would actually be the differential diagnosis of any acute febrile illness for which malaria would be a possibility. Anyone who resided in a malarial zone, or who had recently visited one, would have the differential of malaria as a possible cause if they developed an acute febrile illness. ...Read more

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What's the differential diagnosis of thyrotoxicosis?

Mostly thyroid: Thyroid disease: graves or toxic nodular goiter;
thyroiditis: subacute, post partum, "hashitoxicosis;
very rarely thyroid cancer, or pitutary tumor making tsh.
Taking too much thyroid hormone (beware of "herbal" supplements.
Trophoblastic disease during pregnancy.
The diagnosis is usually graves, toxic goiter, or thyroiditis. ...Read more

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What is the differential diagnosis of thyrotoxicosis?

Several causes: Graves' disease, benign thyroid tumor (toxic adenoma), multi-nodular goiter, thyroiditis, taking excessive amount of thyroid hormone. ...Read more

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Differential diagnosis for acute appendicitis?

RLQ Pain: Long list including diverticulitis, crohn's disease, pelvic inflammatory disease, cholecystitis (gallbladder), ovarian cyst or twisted ovary, colon cancer, kidney stone, perforated ulcer, pancreatitis, bacterial infection and urinary tract infection to name a few. ...Read more

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Differential diagnosis for following pediatric fact pattern?

Confusing question: Your question makes no sense. Please submit appropriate basic facts and a clear question if you seek an answer. The questions are not linked on the site so each question should stand alone & be submitted as an open question, not to a specific person. ...Read more

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Can somebody help me in finding the differential diagnosis of sids?

Can somebody help me in finding the differential diagnosis of sids?

SIDS: Sids is sort of a diagnosis of exclusion -- when no other cause of death is found at autopsy. Sometimes the infant has died because of suffocation when bed-sharing with an adult and sometimes it is found that the infant had an undiagnosed cardiac defect or had an infection. Sids is most common betweeen 2-4 mo of age, winter season, and the infant may have had symtoms of a mild respiratory illnes. ...Read more

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Can you please describe the differential diagnosis of thyrotoxicosis?

Hyperthyroidism: Graves disease, toxic multinodular goiter, subacute thyroiditis, post-partum thyroiditis, hashitoxicosis, taking too much synthroid, (thyroxine) and then many more rare disorders. In a 39 year old, most likely it is autoimmune thyroid disease: graves/hashitox. ...Read more

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Besides tmj, is there any other differential diagnosis for pain in masseter?

Local Myalgia: Local myalgia includes muscle co-contraction and muscle soreness. See an orofacial pain practitioner for evaluation and treatment if needed. ...Read more

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Define differential diagnosis of prolymphocytic leukemia or mantle cell leukemia.

They are too differe: There should be no confusion between these two entities. One is a lymphoma (nodal disease) the other one is a blood cancer that should not affect the lymph nodes. Rather easy diagnosis if you are seeing the right type of specialist! ...Read more

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Differential diagnosis for increase in height in an adult over age 35? No other real symptoms and no symptoms for acromegaly.

Differential diagnosis for increase in height in an adult over age 35? No other real symptoms and no symptoms for acromegaly.

It would be: Vanishingly rare for an adult to have an significant increase in height. Most likely one of the measurements was incorrect. If concerned, check w/your doctor. Acromegaly doesn't increase height, just other bone formation. ...Read more

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What is pancreatitis? Differential diagnosis considered pud, pancreatitis.

Inflammation: It is inflammation of the pancreas. The most common causes are alcohol use and gallstones. Some medicines can cause it. It can be mild or severe. Sometimes the pancreas will start to digest itself. ...Read more

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Bells palsy differential diagnosis, what does this mean?

Bells palsy differential diagnosis, what does this mean?

Facial weakness: Your symptoms can be caused by problems with the facial nerve or the parts of the brain that control that side of the face. The differential diagnosis is the collection of conditions that can do this (nerve inflammation, tumor, stroke, infection etc). ...Read more

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Can any doc tell me what's the differential diagnosis of malaria, and what does it mean?

DDx of malaria: The differential diagnosis of malaria would actually be the differential diagnosis of any acute febrile illness for which malaria would be a possibility. Anyone who resided in a malarial zone, or who had recently visited one, would have the differential of malaria as a possible cause if they developed an acute febrile illness. ...Read more

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Differential diagnosis for fetus with hydrops?

Hydrops fetalis (HF): Hf is divided into two major categories: immune hf and nonimmune hf. Immune hydrops fetalis is caused by rh incompatibility, and used to be the most common cause. All other causes of hf are termed non-immune and may be caused by chromosomal aberrations, other genetic disorders, infections, anemias, structural birth defects such as congenital heart disease, and many other causes. ...Read more

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Differential diagnosis of painless bilateral knee buckling?

Differential diagnosis of painless bilateral knee buckling?

Knee buckling.: Buckling implies weakness of the knees, which generally could come from the joint itself (osteoarthritis) or the muscles and ligaments surrounding the knees. Weakening of the muscles would lessen the support function of the joints. Ligaments can tear from trauma or just from use over time. ...Read more

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What is the differential diagnosis of hemothorax vs. Tension pneumothorax?

What is the differential diagnosis of hemothorax vs. Tension pneumothorax?

What is in the chest: Tension pneumothorax occurs when air under pressure fills the space around the lung. This can compress the heart and impede blood from entering the heart. Hemothorax occurs when blood is filling the space around the lungs. You can have both air and blood in your chest. Both conditions can be dangerous and require management by a physician. ...Read more

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Can you tell me about orthopedics | differential diagnosis of synovial swelling?

Can you tell me about orthopedics | differential diagnosis of synovial swelling?

Increased fluid: Synovial swelling is increased joint fluid within the joint. There is a large differential which would include trauma, inflammatory arthritis such as rheumatoid, degenerative arthritis, infection such as lyme. You should get it checked out. ...Read more

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What is radiological differential diagnosis of a cavity in the lungs with air fluid level?

What is radiological differential diagnosis of a cavity in the lungs with air fluid level?

Depends: Depending on if you have any symptoms, both acute or chronic, this can be related to a number of things. A general differential can be easily Google'd however with this described finding I rec you see a pulmonologist to fully review your hx and findings. If you have an active cough, you should be wearing a mask and seek immediate evaluation to make sure you're not contagious. ...Read more

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What is the differential diagnosis to back pain after 5 hour of recummbancy that resolves after movement?

Muscle pain: Mostly likely is that muscles stiffened up while lying down. Stretching exercises are generally useful in minimizing muscle pain. ...Read more

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What is the differential diagnosis for low grade fever in children since one month (99.3-99.8) with no other symptoms?

What is the differential diagnosis for low grade fever in children since one month (99.3-99.8) with no other symptoms?

Normal child: A temperature below 100.5 is not considered a fever. Any differential diagnosis would be more related to other symptoms than the temperature of 99.8 degrees. Infants can get a temperature that high from over wrapping. ...Read more

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Myxofibrosarcoma presenting in the skin: clinicopathological features and differential diagnosis with cutaneous myxoid neoplasms.?

Fairly common: The differential diagnosis will be made by the pathology team. My teacher hector battifora was among the world's most distinguished sarcoma pathologists but said he would never sign one out without another pathologist. The low nuclear grade ones rarely metastasize / kill, but all are prone to annoying local recurrences. Good luck, glad it's this relatively tame (still dangerous) cancer. ...Read more

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What is the differential diagnosis of diplopia in patient with vertigo?

What is the differential diagnosis of diplopia in patient with vertigo?

Big question: Start with what kind of diplopia - horizontal, vertical or skewed. That will help tell you which eye muscles are involved. Pain with eye movement is worrisome. Diplopia that gets worse with fatigue may be a muscle issue. Vertigo and diplopia makes one think of inner ear or brainstem difficulties, but these can be hard to differentiate. Trauma can cause horizontal diplopia ...Read more

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ANA positive SSA SSB weekly positive SCL weekly positive RNP SM weekly positive. Any implications? What are the differential diagnosis? WaDoes it mean

Pos auto ab tests: You are describing positive tests for auto antibodies. The differential diagnosis can be extensive. I am assuming a rheumatologist has ordered these tests? You need f/u with them to educate you what they mean, what further tests may need to be done and review your symptoms. Proper rheum DX is not based only on test results, but exam findings and symptoms of patient. Good luck. ...Read more

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What is the differential diagnosis for black spots on the legs?

Must be visualized: Multiple dermatologic illnesses must be rule out and cannot be diagnosed at all without photo documentation. ...Read more

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Is it abnormal for lipomas to grow in the popliteal fossa? What could the differential diagnosis be?

Is it abnormal for lipomas to grow in the popliteal fossa? What could the differential diagnosis be?

Yes, it is rare: Most likely, you have a baker's cyst, which is associated with a meniscal injury of the knee. This is much more likely than having a lipoma in that area, but it is possible. ...Read more

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If a physician had a patient with a differential diagnosis, what type doctor might he refer the patient to?

Depends on the: Differential. Depends on the problem, but in general, an internist is a great broad thinking type of doctor. ...Read more

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What is a common differential diagnosis for a questionable small angiomyolipoma found on renal doppler ultrasound?

What is a common differential diagnosis for a questionable small angiomyolipoma found on renal doppler ultrasound?

That may scare you: The common lesions in kidneys are cysts and kidney cancers all of which begin as small densities and then it is a matter of checking them for any changes or further growth. Stay calm and follow your doctor's instructions and get followup ultrasound in 6 months (if you a re very much worried) or in one year which I think is adequate. ...Read more

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How to do differential diagnosis between ameobic and bacterial dysentery? And also recommend me good diagnosis book to study?

How to do differential diagnosis between ameobic and bacterial dysentery? And also recommend me good diagnosis book to study?

Ameba vs bacteria: Bacterial dysentery may be self limited- sometimes caused by shigella in unhygienic places. Ameoba dysentery is an infection of the intestine (gut) caused by Entamoeba histolytica, which, among other things, can cause severe diarrhoea, through contaminated food and water. It is from Amoebae spread by forming infective cysts which can be found in stools and spread to whoever touches it. ...Read more

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How to diagnostically evaluate for groin lump? What are the differential diagnosis? Examinations and investigations done to reach diagnosis?

How to diagnostically evaluate for groin lump? What are the differential diagnosis? Examinations and investigations done to reach diagnosis?

Need to see your Dr.: When evaluating patients w/groin lumps, possibilities include hernias, enlarged lymph nodes, & fatty tumors, all of which may feel similar. The best place to start is with a primary care doctor. While ct scans and/or an ultrasound can be helpful, a careful exam by a general surgeon may be the only test needed. ...Read more

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Please explain: 5 CM irregular splenic lesion. Differential diagnosis lymphoma and splenic metastasis. Could this be cancer?

Please explain: 5 CM irregular splenic lesion. Differential diagnosis lymphoma and splenic metastasis. Could this be cancer?

Yes: Both are forms of cancer. It could also be a benign hemangioma, an epidermoid cyst, an infart (how's your overall vascular health?) or any of a number of other entities. What to do next will depend on your history and physical exam. You're in no immediate danger but this very much needs to be followed up. Many of the lymphomas especially are very curable with today's biotech. ...Read more

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Can tarlov cysts at s2-3 be definitively diagnosed by pelvic mri? If not, what is the differential diagnosis and follow up?

Can tarlov cysts at s2-3 be definitively diagnosed by pelvic mri? If not, what is the differential diagnosis and follow up?

Usually can be seen: In a lumbar spine mri, pelvic MRI could also be used, but it is typically noted as an incidental finding on a lumbar spine mri. Most of the time it is not symptomatic.

See a neurosurgeon or spinal specialist. ...Read more

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What could be the differential diagnosis of post-auricular lymphadenopathy lasting for years? Associated symptoms mucus production andd tonsillitis

What could be the differential diagnosis of post-auricular lymphadenopathy lasting for years? Associated symptoms mucus production andd tonsillitis

Several things: You have symptoms which could be serious and should see your physician. He/she will listen to you, do a physical examinarion, run some tests, and let you know what's going on. ...Read more

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Ultrasound report of popliteal fossa showed lipomas. Is this unusual? Differential diagnosis?

Ultrasound report of popliteal fossa showed lipomas. Is this unusual? Differential diagnosis?

Popliteal Lipoma: A lipoma is an extremely common benign lipid (fat) tumor. It can easily be identified on exam & verified by ultrasound. Lipomas can be seen anywhere on the body under the skin where there is fat. Malignant transformation is extremely rare. Lipomas formed from liponeogenesis, usually seen after a blunt trauma, has a higher incidence of liposarcoma transformation. Bakers cyst is not a lipoma. ...Read more

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I have non vestibular non vertigo chronic dizzy for 8 month 24/7. Neuro is treating for migraine aura. Differential diagnosis? Dizziness never stops.

I have non vestibular non vertigo chronic dizzy for 8 month 24/7. Neuro is treating for migraine aura. Differential diagnosis? Dizziness never stops.

Vertigo: Non vestibular vertigo means it is not from the ears, and therefore the neurologist is trying to control it by controlling your migraines as they can be correlated, follow their advice. ...Read more