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American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation:
Case Series

Misdiagnosis of Conversion Disorders

Teasell, Robert W. MD; Shapiro, Allan P. PhD

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Abstract

Teasell RW, Shapiro AP: Misdiagnosis of conversion disorders. Am J Phys Med Rehabil 2002;81:236–240.

Five cases are presented describing the clinical features for which they were referred and admitted to a rehabilitation unit and later identified as having been misdiagnosed as having a conversion disorder. The diagnoses were sarcoma-induced osteomalacia, cerebellar medulloblastoma, Huntington’s chorea, transverse myelitis, and lower extremity dystonia. A perceived history of psychological difficulties, an unusual neurologic presentation, and normal initial diagnostic testing in a female patient were associated with a misdiagnosis of conversion disorders; unfortunately, these factors also characterize actual conversion disorders.

© 2002 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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