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Misdiagnosis of Cystic Fibrosis

Misdiagnosis of Cystic Fibrosis

A diagnosis of cystic fibrosis may be delayed or missed because the symptoms can vary greatly in different people and mimic symptoms of a wide variety of other conditions, such as pneumonia, bronchopulmonary dysplagia, celiac disease and malnutrition.

Only a thorough evaluation by a physician or licensed health care provider can determine the cause of symptoms....more about Cystic Fibrosis »

Alternative diagnoses list for Cystic Fibrosis:

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

Diseases for which Cystic Fibrosis may be an alternative diagnosis

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

Cystic Fibrosis: Hidden Causes Misdiagnosed?

Causes of Cystic Fibrosis may include these medical conditions:

  • Genetic mutation. Cystic fibrosis is one of the most common life-shortening genetic diseases
  • more causes...»

Rare Types of Cystic Fibrosis:

  • Nasal polyps related to cystic fibrosis
  • Pancreatic insufficiency related cystic fibrosis
  • Sinusitis related cystic fibrosis
  • Bronchiectasis related cystic fibrosis
  • Intussusception related to cystic fibrosis
  • Undescended testis associated to cystic fibrosis
  • Hydrocele associated with cystic fibrosis
  • More rare types »

Cystic Fibrosis: Medical Mistakes

Related medical mistakes may include:

Cystic Fibrosis: Undiagnosed Conditions

Commonly undiagnosed conditions in related areas may include:

Common Misdiagnoses and Cystic Fibrosis

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.

Chronic digestive conditions often misdiagnosed: When diagnosing chronic symptoms of the digestive tract, there are a variety of conditions that may be misdiagnosed. The best known, irritable bowel syndrome, is over-diagnosed, whereas other causes that are less known may be overlooked or misdiagnosed: celiac disease, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis (both are called inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)), diabetic gastroparesis, diabetic diarrhea. Other possibilities include giardia, colon cancer, or other chronic infections.

Intestinal bacteria disorder may be hidden cause: One of the lesser known causes of diarrhea is an imbalance of bacterial in the gut, sometimes called intestinal imbalance. The digestive system contains a variety of "good" bacteria that aid digestion, and they can decline for various reasons, leading to digestive symptoms such as diarrhea. The main treatment is to eat foods containing probiotics, typically yoghurt cultures. See intestinal imbalance and probiotics.

Antibiotics often causes diarrhea: The use of antibiotics are very likely to cause some level of diarrhea in patients. The reason is that antibiotics kill off not only "bad" bacteria, but can also kill the "good" bacteria in the gut. This leads to "digestive imbalance" where there are too few remaining "good" bacteria in the digestive system. The treatment is typically to use "probiotics", such as by eating yoghurt cultures containing more of the good bacteria. See digestive imbalance and probiotics.

Food poisoning may actually be an infectious disease: Many people who come down with "stomach symptoms" like diarrhea assume that it's "something I ate" (i.e. food poisoning). In fact, it's more likely to be an infectious diarrheal illness (i.e. infectious diarrhea), that has been caught from another person. Such conditions may be transmitted via the fecal-oral route.

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.

Celiac disease often fails to be diagnosed cause of chronic digestive symptoms: One of the most common chronic digestive conditions is celiac disease, a malabsorption disorder with a variety of symptoms (see symptoms of celiac disease). A variety of other chronic digestive disorders tend to be diagnosed rather than this condition. See introduction to celiac disease or misdiagnosis of celiac disease.

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.

Chronic digestive diseases hard to diagnose: There is an inherent difficulty in diagnosing the various types of chronic digestive diseases. Some of the better known possibilities are peptic ulcer, colon cancer, irritable bowel syndrome, or GERD. Other sometimes overlooked possibilities include Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, chronic appendicitis, Celiac disease, Carcinoid syndrome, gastroparesis, and others. See all types of chronic digestive diseases.

Chronic lung diseases hard to diagnose: Some of the chronic lung diseases are difficult to diagnose. Even the well-knowns conditions such as asthma or lung cancer often fail to be diagnosed early. Some of the chronic lung diseases with diagnostic difficulties include asthma (perhaps surprisingly), COPD, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, cystic fibrosis, mesothelioma, smoker's cough, AIDS-related respiratory conditions (see AIDS), chronic pneumonia, and other respiratory diseases. Rare possibilities include diseases like psittacosis (bird-related lung infection). See other types of chronic lung diseases.

Cystic Fibrosis: Rare Types

Rare types of medical disorders and diseases in related medical areas:

Failure To Diagnose Cystic Fibrosis

Failure to diagnose Cystic Fibrosis may be associated with the following:

  • Cystic fibrosis is usually diagnosed early in life but some mild cases may not present with symptoms until the teenage years or early adulthood
  • Milder cases of cystic fibrosis can manifest as a variety of symptoms in adulthood: chronic digestive problems, abdominal pain, infertility, finger clubbing and toe clubbing. These symptoms may be put down to many other conditions other than cystic fibrosis
  • A diagnosis of cystic fibrosis may not even be considered in a person with a history of chronic sinusitis and respiratory problems which can be caused by cystic fibrosis
  • Cystic fibrosis can remain undiagnosed for years or even decades depending on the severity of the disease. Severe disease produces characteristic symptoms soon after birth whereas milder cases may have more variable presentations with symptoms that do eventually occur being put down to other causes
  • Undiagnosed cystic fibrosis can result in frequent lung infections which can damage the lungs
  • Delayed diagnosis means treatment is delayed which can affect quality of life and life expectancy in some cases
  • The diagnosis of cystic fibrosis may be confused by the fact that the disease can affect mainly the lungs or the digestive system or both
  • Complications that can occur with untreated and treated cystic fibrosis: respiratory failure, malnutrition, diabetes mellitus, osteoporosis and liver disease
  • Symptoms such as recurring pneumonia, sinusitis, nasal polyps and untreatable asthma in children may indicate undiagnosed cystic fibrosis
  • Recurring pancreatitis in adolescence may indicate undiagnosed cystic fibrosis
  • Infertility in males may indicate undiagnosed cystic fibrosis
  • Recurring sinusitis, bronchitis, nasal polyps, pancreatitis and bronchitis in adults may indicate undiagnosed cystic fibrosis
  • Meconium ileus, rectal prolapse, failure to thrive, prolonged obstructive jaundice, low blood albumin levels and unexplained haemolytic anemia in infants may indicate undiagnosed cystic fibrosis
  • A common pitfall in the diagnosis of cystic fibrosis is the assumption that it is a childhood disease
  • Undiagnosed cystic fibrosis leads to continuing lung infections which can increasingly damage the lungs and even lead to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Notes On Hidden Causes Of Cystic Fibrosis

The following may be hidden causes of Cystic Fibrosis:

  • Cystic fibrosis is an inherited genetic disorder

Notes On Wrong Diagnosis Of Cystic Fibrosis

Wrong diagnosis of Cystic Fibrosis may be associated with the following:

  • Cystic fibrosis may be wrongly diagnosed as tuberculosis, asthma, celiac disease or chronic bronchitis
  • Studies indicate that a small number of patients have been wrongly diagnosed as having cystic fibrosis

Complications Of Misdiagnosis Of Cystic Fibrosis

The following may be complications of misdiagnosis of Cystic Fibrosis:

  • Failure to thrive during infancy due to cystic fibrosis may be put down to feeding problems
  • Frequent lung and respiratory infections in an infant with cystic fibrosis may be dismissed as a poor immune system
  • Coughing and mucus production due to cystic fibrosis may be misdiagnosed as a respiratory infection
  • Dehydration in infants with undiagnosed cystic fibrosis may be put down to insufficient fluid intake
  • Cystic fibrosis that affects mainly the digestive system may be misdiagnosed as a digestive disorder
  • Cystic fibrosis that affects mainly the lungs may be misdiagnosed a respiratory disorder
  • Breathing problems associated with cystic fibrosis may be misdiagnosed as asthma

Other Notes On Misdiagnosis Of Cystic Fibrosis

  • In some parts of the world, newborn screening programs for cystic fibrosis means that many cases are diagnosed soon after birth
  • Depression and anxiety are often associated with cystic fibrosis
  • A negative result for genetic testing does not totally exclude cystic fibrosis as genetic testing cannot cover all the possible genetic mutations that can result in cystic fibrosis
  • Although cystic fibrosis is an inherited condition, sometimes there is no family history of the disease as members have been carriers
  • Complications and conditions associated with cystic fibrosis include chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, liver fibrosis, cholelithiasis, arthritis and diabetes mellitus
  • Genetic screening for cystic fibrosis is complicated by the fact that there are over 500 different genetic mutations associated with the condition

Medical news summaries about misdiagnosis of Cystic Fibrosis:

The following medical news items are relevant to misdiagnosis of Cystic Fibrosis:

Misdiagnosis and Cystic Fibrosis deaths

Cystic Fibrosis is a condition that can possibly be deadly if misdiagnosed...more »

General Misdiagnosis Articles

Read these general articles with an overview of misdiagnosis issues.

About misdiagnosis:

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


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