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Misdiagnosis of Heart failure

Misdiagnosis of Heart failure

A diagnosis of heart failure may be overlooked or delayed because in some cases there are no symptoms until the condition becomes severe or because symptoms can develop gradually allowing a person to adapt to them. Some symptoms are vague and not specific to heart failure. These include weakness, fatigue, confusion, anxiety and dizziness. These types of symptoms may be attributed to other conditions, such as aging or influenza.

Other symptoms can also be similar to symptoms of other conditions, such as COPD, heart attack, pneumonia, bronchitis, arrhythmia, kidney disease and liver disease....more about Heart failure »

Heart failure misdiagnosis: Diagnosis of heart failure requires several tests and a thorough personal and family medical history. It may be misdiagnosed in particularly young people without physical signs (e.g. leg swelling), an obvious cause (e.g. congenital heart defect) or family history of heart disease....more about Heart failure »

Alternative diagnoses list for Heart failure:

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

Diseases for which Heart failure may be an alternative diagnosis

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

Heart failure: Hidden Causes Misdiagnosed?

Causes of Heart failure may include these medical conditions:

Rare Types of Heart failure:

  • Cocaine cardiomyopathy related cardiac failure
  • Myocarditis related heart failure
  • Myxedema related heart failure
  • Polycythemia vera related heart failure
  • Carcinoid syndrome related heart failure
  • Thiamine deficiency related heart failure
  • More rare types »

Heart failure: Medical Mistakes

Related medical mistakes may include:

Heart failure: Undiagnosed Conditions

Commonly undiagnosed conditions in related areas may include:

Discussion of diagnosis/misdiagnosis of Heart failure:

Tests help rule out other possible causes of symptoms. The symptoms of heart failure can result when the heart is made to work too hard, instead of from damaged muscle. Conditions that overload the heart occur rarely and include severe anemia and thyrotoxicosis (a disease resulting from an overactive thyroid gland). (Source: excerpt from NHLBI, Heart Failure: NHLBI)

Common Misdiagnoses and Heart failure

Heart attacks can be undiagnosed: Although the most severe symptoms of heart attack are hard to miss, there are varying degrees of severity. It is altogether too common for people to die from undiagnosed heart attack, or from delaying too long to call for emergency help. The prognosis for treatment is far better for patients treated in the early stages of a heart attack. The most common misdiagnoses include heartburn, or other less severe causes of chest pain. See the introduction to heart attack and the symptoms of heart attack.

Heart attacks can be overdiagnosed: Although many people die from heart attacks, there are also many cases where people fear that they have a heart attack, but actually have something milder. Some of the conditions which may be causes of chest pain, causing fear of a heart attack, including an anxiety attack, heartburn, and so on. See the causes of chest pain and the symptoms of heart attack.

Rare heart condition often undiagnosed: The rare heart condition called long QT syndrome can lead to episodes of palpitations and rapid heartbeat. In rare cases, this undiagnosed condition can be fatal. It should be considered for any unexplained heart rhythm abnormality.

Heart attack can be over-diagnosed: Although heart attack is often undiagnosed, leading to fatality, it can also be over-diagnosed. People become concerned that a condition is a heart attack, whereas there are various less dangerous possibilities. After all, there are numerous causes of chest pain. Some of the common conditions where a person may become concerned about a possible heart attack include a panic attack (which often has both chest pain and difficulty breathing), and heartburn/reflux type conditions. Nevertheless, chest pain itself can be a potentially life-threatening symptoms, and needs immediate professional attention.

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.

Hypertension misdiagnosis common in children: Hypertension is often misdiagnosed in adults (see misdiagnosis of hypertension), but its misdiagnosis is even more likely in children. Some of the symptoms of hypertension that can be overlooked include chest pain, headaches, abdominal pain, etc. See symptoms of hypertension or misdiagnosis of hypertension.

Heart failure: Rare Types

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

Medical news summaries about misdiagnosis of Heart failure:

The following medical news items are relevant to misdiagnosis of Heart failure:

Misdiagnosis and Heart failure deaths

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


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