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Diagnostic Tests for Irritability

Diagnostic Test list for Irritability:

The list of diagnostic tests mentioned in various sources as used in the diagnosis of Irritability includes:

  • General inspection (if baby, infant or child)
    • Current level of any distress
    • Note character of cry
    • Note presence of stridor or wheeze
    • Note any peculiarity in appearance - e.g. dysmorphic.
    • Note state of alertness
    • Note general state of development
    • Note scars, burns, bruises or rashes
  • Physical examination (if baby, infant or child)
    • Note: it may be difficult to thoroughly examine a crying irritable infant
    • Weight, height and head circumference to assess centiles for growth
    • Temperature - to assess chance of infection as cause of crying.
    • Type and rate of breathing
    • Examine abdomen for any obvious distention, tenderness, rigidity, masses, enlarged organs or hernias
    • Examine heart and peripheral pulses - heart conditions can be the cause of miserable, irritable babies who are difficult feeders and who gain weight poorly.
    • Examine the lungs and note breath sounds and added sounds that may be suggestive of lung disease
    • Examine fontanelle (soft spots on babies skull) which may have increased tension with increased intracranial pressure or sunken with dehydration
    • Examine neck lymph nodes which will be enlarged in upper respiratory tract infections
    • Examine limbs and joints for deformity, tenderness and range of motion
    • Examine nervous system including tone and reflexes - e.g. cerebral palsy can cause crying, unsettled babies.
    • Examine ears, nose and throat for evidence of infection which can cause a cross, crying baby
  • Blood tests (if warranted)
    • Full blood count and ESR for evidence of infection and inflammation
    • Electrolytes and renal function tests
    • Blood sugar
    • Liver function tests
    • Blood cultures, if fever of unknown origin
    • Viral serology tests
  • Urine analysis
  • Urine microscopy and culture - to rule out urinary tract infection.
  • Stool microscopy and culture - may be suggested if diarrhea present.
  • Radiological investigations
    • Abdominal X-Ray may show signs of bowel obstruction
    • Barium enema may be required to confirm intussusception of the bowel
    • CT Scan Brain - to rule out brain cancer.
  • Renal ultrasound and micturating cysturethrogram (MCU) - to diagnose possible vesicoureteric reflux if baby is diagnosed with urinary tract infection.
  • Spinal tap may be necessary if fever present and unknown cause to rule out meningitis
  • Mental state examination - including appearance, behavior, rate and continuity of speech, mood, affect, thought content, evidence of any hallucinations or abnormal beliefs, orientation to time, place and person, attention and concentration, short-term memory, insight and judgement.

Home Diagnostic Testing

These home medical tests may be relevant to Irritability causes:

Conditions listing medical symptoms: Irritability:

The following list of conditions have 'Irritability' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.

Select from the following alphabetical view of conditions which include a symptom of Irritability or choose View All.

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Conditions listing medical complications: Irritability:

The following list of medical conditions have 'Irritability' or similar listed as a medical complication in our database.


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