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Misdiagnosis of Acromegaly

Misdiagnosis of Acromegaly

A diagnosis of acromegaly in adults is often overlooked or delayed because symptoms generally develop slowly over years. In addition, symptoms are often nonspecific and are common symptoms of many other conditions. These include aging, menopause, perimenopause, chronic fatigue syndrome, arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, hypertension, and heart disease. Because of the similarity to symptoms of these and other conditions, it is important that people with symptoms of acromegaly seek prompt medical care. Early diagnosis and treatment is also vital to effective treatment and prevention of permanent organ damage and serious complications....more about Acromegaly »

Alternative diagnoses list for Acromegaly:

For a diagnosis of Acromegaly, the following list of conditions have been mentioned in sources as possible alternative diagnoses to consider during the diagnostic process for Acromegaly:

Diseases for which Acromegaly may be an alternative diagnosis

The other diseases for which Acromegaly is listed as a possible alternative diagnosis in their lists include:

Acromegaly: Hidden Causes Misdiagnosed?

Causes of Acromegaly may include these medical conditions:

Rare Types of Acromegaly:

Acromegaly: Undiagnosed Conditions

Commonly undiagnosed conditions in related areas may include:

Common Misdiagnoses and Acromegaly

Mild worm infections undiagnosed in children: Human worm infestations, esp. threadworm, can be overlooked in some cases, because it may cause only mild or even absent symptoms. Although the most common symptoms are anal itch (or vaginal itch), which are obvious in severe cases, milder conditions may fail to be noticed in children. In particular, it may interfere with the child's good night's sleep. Threadworm is a condition to consider in children with symptoms such as bedwetting (enuresis), difficulty sleeping, irritability, or other sleeping symptoms. Visual inspection of the region can often see the threadworms, at night when they are active, but they can also be missed this way, and multiple inspections can be warranted if worms are suspected. See the introduction to threadworm.

Mesenteric adenitis misdiagnosed as appendicitis in children: Because appendicitis is one of the more feared conditions for a child with abdominal pain, it can be over-diagnosed (it can, of course, also fail to be diagnosed with fatal effect). One of the most common misdiagnosed is for children with mesenteric adenitis to be misdiagnosed as appendicitis. Fortunately, thus misdiagnosis is usually less serious than the reverse failure to diagnose appendicitis.

Blood pressure cuffs misdiagnose hypertension in children: One known misdiagnosis issue with hyperension, arises in relation to the simple equipment used to test blood pressure. The "cuff" around the arm to measure blood pressure can simply be too small to accurately test a child's blood pressure. This can lead to an incorrect diagnosis of a child with hypertension. The problem even has a name unofficially: "small cuff syndrome". See misdiagnosis of hypertension.

Children with migraine often misdiagnosed: A migraine often fails to be correctly diagnosed in pediatric patients. These patients are not the typical migraine sufferers, but migraines can also occur in children. See misdiagnosis of migraine or introduction to migraine.

Pituitary conditions often undiagnosed cause of symptoms: There are a variety of symptoms that can be caused by a pituitary disorder (see symptoms of pituitary disorders). For example, fatigue, headache, weight gain, diabetes-like symptoms, and various other symptoms. Pituitary tumors and other similar conditions are not as rare as physicians tend to believe. See introduction to pituitary conditions.

Failure To Diagnose Acromegaly

Failure to diagnose Acromegaly may be associated with the following:

  • Acromegaly is often not diagnosed in the early stages as the physical symptoms tend to develop slowly. Early diagnosis and treatment prevents complications such as heart and brain blood vessel disorders, respiratory disorders and cancers which can shorten life spans
  • Acromegaly is frequently undiagnosed as it is so rare that there is a lack of awareness of the condition among the medical and general public
  • Acromegaly may be difficult to diagnose because often symptoms develop separately and the whole picture may not be evident until the condition is quite advanced. For example, enlargement of the hands and feet may occur at a different time to symptoms such as widened teeth spacing and joint pain
  • Acromegaly is rarely diagnosed in the early stages there is a large range of symptoms which are common to numerous other conditions that are often harmless. It is only when the symptoms are looked at as a collective group that the condition is more likely to be diagnosed
  • Relatively early symptoms of acromegaly which are often overlooked are joint pain, amenorrhea, excessive sweating, sleep apnea and headache

Notes On Hidden Causes Of Acromegaly

The following may be hidden causes of Acromegaly:

  • The cause of acromegaly is usually a pituitary gland adenoma but may also be caused by tumors in the pancreas, lungs and adrenal glands
  • Acromegaly is associated with a number of genetic syndromes: Carney complex, McCune-Albright syndrome, Lamb syndrome and a rare syndrome called X-linked mental retardation with acromegaly and hyperactivity

Notes On Wrong Diagnosis Of Acromegaly

Wrong diagnosis of Acromegaly may be associated with the following:

  • In rare cases, the early stages of acromegaly may be misdiagnosed as prolactinoma
  • Enlarged, numb fingers caused by acromegaly may be misdiagnosed as carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Women with early symptoms of acromegaly such as weight gain, increased hand and foot size and increased abdominal girth may have their symptoms dismissed simply as normal processes of aging or menopause
  • Joint pain and swelling caused by acromegaly may be misdiagnosed simply as arthritis or rheumatoid arthritis
  • Fatigue caused by acromegaly may be misdiagnosed as a sleep disorder or chronic fatigue syndrome or may be simply dismissed as the side effect of a busy stressful lifestyle
  • Acromegaly that occurs in older patients may be more prone to misdiagnosis as symptoms such as joint pain, glucose intolerance, mood depression and hypertension are also common complaints in older people and thus it may be dismissed as being the result of aging
  • Females with menstrual problems due to acromegaly may be misdiagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome

General Misdiagnosis Articles

Read these general articles with an overview of misdiagnosis issues.

About misdiagnosis:

When checking for a misdiagnosis of Acromegaly or confirming a diagnosis of Acromegaly, it is useful to consider what other medical conditions might be possible misdiagnoses or other alternative conditions relevant to diagnosis. These alternate diagnoses of Acromegaly may already have been considered by your doctor or may need to be considered as possible alternative diagnoses or candidates for misdiagnosis of Acromegaly. For a general overview of misdiagnosis issues for all diseases, see Overview of Misdiagnosis.


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