Diagnostic criteria, an important medical tool

Legend By Legend, 18th Dec 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/h5r-_w1z/
Posted in Wikinut>Health>General Health>Diseases & Infections

Diagnostic criteria are an important tool to help physicians reach complex and elusive medical diagnosis

Diagnostic criteria - intro

When a person comes to the physician with two days of fever, a cough, appropriate findings on auscultation, it is likely he has pneumonia. If these are findings are supported by chest radiography and labs and everything resolves within a week, then the diagnosis is sealed. If a lady comes with urinary complaints, frequency and urgency for the past three days, it is likely she has a urinary tract infection. If it resolves 2 days later after starting an antibiotic and does not recur, the diagnosis is sealed. Fortunately most common medical conditions behave just like that, but not all...

Somtimes we need diagnostic criteria

Sometimes achieving a medical diagnosis is not simple. Some diseases are just too elusive to be easily diagnosed. Sometimes a disease has a wide range of manifestations and at times early diagnosis is important. Occasionally, several diseases can manifest in a nearly identical manner but differ significantly as to the required treatment. In these cases diagnostic criteria are formulated to help guide the physician in making the diagnosis. There are many diseases and states which have diagnostic criteria. Sometimes these criteria are even graded so that depending on how many criteria are met the chances of having a given disease are increased or the risk of suffering of a more serious disease is likely.

Diagnostic criteria help research

Another important use of diagnostic criteria is as a research aid. When all physician researching a given disease all use the same diagnostic criteria, we can be fairly certain they are all talking about the same disease.

Sample diseases

Here are some examples of diseases for which medical diagnostic criteria have been formulated:

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
Multiple myeloma (see also this link)
Endocarditis
Sjorgen
Rheumatoid arthritis
Rheumatic fever
Kawasaki
Practically every psychiatric disease
and many others...

I will be posting diagnostic criteria if diseases as I write them up for layman perusal and for the benefit of physicians who are interested in a quick reference..

Tags

Diagnosis, Diagnostic Criteria, Disease, Diseases, Fibromyalgia, Fmf, Infection, Infectious Endocarditis, Lupus, Medical Diagnosis, Rheumatic Fever, Rheumatoid Arthritis

Meet the author

author avatar Legend
I am a practicing physician. I have spent 5 years in Yeshiva studying religion. I published a card game on wikinut and I am in a process of getting divorced

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Comments

author avatar Jerry Walch
18th Dec 2013 (#)

Interesting and informative.

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author avatar Dan Dawson Sr.
18th Dec 2013 (#)

Thanks!
You made me think about the following:
A common mistake I see in the diagnostic process usually happens in ERs and other high volume facilities.
It usually occurs during an outbreak of some form of influenza strain. A patient comes in with the majority of symptoms of the "Flavor of the month". And is quickly lumped into that diagnoses. To a large part, this may also be compounded by high demand to keep up per shift, the required high turnover due to ever reduced insurance payments, ever higher insurance costs and operational expenses.
Your thoughts?
Only the best,
Dan

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author avatar Dan Dawson Sr.
23rd Dec 2013 (#)

Only the most Happy holidays to you & yours!

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