Diagnosis of exclusion

Diagnosis of exclusion

A diagnosis of exclusion (per exclusionem) is a medical condition reached by a process of elimination, which may be necessary if presence cannot be established with complete confidence from examination or testing. Such elimination of other reasonable possibilities is a major component in performing a differential diagnosis.

Perhaps the largest category of diagnosis by exclusion is seen among psychiatric disorders where the presence of physical or organic disease must be excluded as a pre-requisite for making a functional diagnosis. Diagnosis by exclusion tends to occur where scientific knowledge is scarce, specifically where the means to verify a diagnosis by an objective method is absent. As a specific diagnosis cannot be confirmed a fall back position is to exclude that group of known causes that may cause a similar clinical presentation.


An example of such a diagnosis is "fever of unknown origin": to explain the cause of elevated temperature the most common causes of unexplained fever (infection, neoplasm, or collagen vascular disease) must be ruled out.

Other examples include:

See also


  1. ^ "Behcet Disease: Overview - eMedicine Dermatology". http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1122381-overview. Retrieved 2009-03-28. 
  2. ^ Petruzzelli GJ, Hirsch BE (August 1991). "Bell's palsy. A diagnosis of exclusion". Postgrad Med 90 (2): 115–8, 121–2, 125–7. PMID 1862038. 
  3. ^ "What is Sarcoidosis?, What is Sarcoidosis?". http://www.musc.edu/sarcoidosis/what_is_sarcoid.htm. 
  4. ^ Kwan ES, Wolpert SM, Hedges TR, Laucella M (February 1988). "Tolosa-Hunt syndrome revisited: not necessarily a diagnosis of exclusion". AJR Am J Roentgenol 150 (2): 413–8. PMID 3257334. http://www.ajronline.org/cgi/pmidlookup?view=long&pmid=3257334. 
  5. ^ Cash BD, Chey WD (June 2004). "Irritable bowel syndrome - an evidence-based approach to diagnosis". Aliment. Pharmacol. Ther. 19 (12): 1235–45. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2036.2004.02001.x. PMID 15191504. http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/openurl?genre=article&sid=nlm:pubmed&issn=0269-2813&date=2004&volume=19&issue=12&spage=1235. 
  6. ^ Cash BD, Chey WD (December 2003). "Advances in the management of irritable bowel syndrome". Curr Gastroenterol Rep 5 (6): 468–75. doi:10.1007/s11894-003-0035-5. PMID 14602054. 

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • diagnosis by exclusion — recognition of a disease by excluding all other known diseases …   Medical dictionary

  • Diagnosis of schizophrenia — The diagnosis of schizophrenia is based on criteria in either the American Psychiatric Association s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, version DSM IV TR, or the World Health Organization s International Statistical… …   Wikipedia

  • Diagnosis of Asperger syndrome — Several factors complicate the diagnosis of Asperger syndrome (AS), an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Like other ASD forms, Asperger syndrome is characterized by impairment in social interaction accompanied by restricted and repetitive interests …   Wikipedia

  • diagnosis — The determination of the nature of a disease, injury, or congenital defect. SYN: diacrisis. [G. d., a deciding] antenatal d. SYN: prenatal d.. clinical d. a d. made from a study of the signs and symptoms of a d …   Medical dictionary

  • Medical diagnosis — (often simply termed diagnosis) refers both to the process of attempting to determine and/or identify a possible disease or disorder (and diagnosis in this sense can also be termed (medical) diagnostic procedure), and to the opinion reached by… …   Wikipedia

  • Differential diagnosis — Intervention MeSH D003937 A differential diagnosis (sometimes abbreviated DDx, ddx, DD, D/Dx, or ΔΔ) is a systematic diagnostic method used to identify the presence of an entity where multiple alternatives are …   Wikipedia

  • Wastebasket diagnosis — A trashcan diagnosis or wastebasket diagnosis is a vague or fake medical or psychiatric diagnosis that is given to the patient or to the medical records department for essentially non medical reasons.cite web… …   Wikipedia

  • Preimplantation genetic diagnosis — In medicine and (clinical) genetics preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) (or also known as Embryo Screening) refers to procedures that are performed on embryos prior to implantation, sometimes even on oocytes prior to fertilization. PGD is… …   Wikipedia

  • Rome process — The Rome Process is an international effort to define and categorize the functional gastrointestinal disorders, or FGIDs, (of unknown cause) such as Irritable bowel syndrome and Functional dyspepsia. This approach represents a substantial change… …   Wikipedia

  • Bell's palsy — Infobox Disease Name = Bell s Palsy Caption = DiseasesDB = 1303 ICD10 = ICD10|G|51|0|g|50 ICD9 = ICD9|351.0 ICDO = OMIM = MedlinePlus = 000773 eMedicineSubj = emerg eMedicineTopic = 56 eMedicine plus = eMedicine2|neuro|413 eMedicine2|ent|719… …   Wikipedia