Differential diagnosis for Mrs Patrick review

differential diagnosis for Mrs. Patrick and give the most likely probable diagnosis.

A review of the case reveals that Mrs. Patrick could be suffering from Fibroblastic rheumatism, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Sarcoid arthropathy, Acute viral polyarthritis or Rheumatoid Arthritis.

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Fibroblastic rheumatism is noted by Chkirate and Job-Deslandre (2001) to be a very rare disease of an unknown etiology. It however shares certain features of arthritis, nodules as well as arthraglia. The disease causes flexion contractures in most of the patients, a symptom which Mrs. Patrick lacks. In half the cases, thickened palmar fascia is presented.

Sarcoid artropathy

This is a chronic arthritis in the sarcoidosis and it may be polyarticular or oligoarticular. In most cases, it presents itself similarly to RA.In most cases it affects knees, hands, ankles and wrists as well as interphalangeal joints and metacarpophalangeal. It is also normally associated with parenchymal pulmonary disease.It is distinguished from Rheumatoid Arthritis by:

The elevated concentration of angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) in the serum

Chest radiography may show elements of sarcoidosis.

Acute arthritis pattern together with Lofgren’s syndrome in the patients is never observed in RA cases.

Acute viral polyarthritis

This may be caused by a wide rage of viruses such a rubella (Smith, Petty, Tingle, 1989) HBV and parvovirus B19 (Smith, Woolf, Lenci,1987).Serologic testing can be used in the identification of the viruses in patients.


The patients has Rheumatoid Arthritis due to the fact that she presented its most common symptoms as well as a genetic link (Vossennar,2004) (mother had it).

2. Give an explanation of the pathological process involved to produce the signs and symptoms of Mrs. Patrick

According to Vitali et al. (1999) the pathological process in RA starts with the presentation of a relatively unknown antigen for ‘rheumatoid’ by an antigen presenting cell to the CD4 +T cell receptors. The second step is the activation of CD4 +T cell and then of the cytokine network. This then leads to the development of the signs and symptoms.

3. Mrs. Patrick is concerned that her condition may have some serious complications to her health. Explain how the family history and personal history of the patient is relevant to her present condition and what complications may develop from this condition?

Rheumatoid Arthritis is noted to have a genetic link (Vossennar,2004). The genetic link could be the one that has caused the disease to be present in Mrs. Patrick since his mother also had the disease.The patients personal history is also important since the disease could be caused by certain injuries and health conditions.The complication which may arise from her condition include atherosclerosis, myocardial infarction (heart attack),stroke, endocarditic,, pericarditis and Pulmonary heart disease.

4. Suggest the further investigation tests to confirm your diagnosis and explain what findings to you expect from these tests.

Antinuclear antibody (ANA) testing

A negative antinuclear antibody (ANA) testing effectively excludes systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) as well other forms of systemic rheumatic diseases. The Antinuclear antibody (ANA) tests may be positive for 75% of the RA patients. In those with positive negative antinuclear antibody (ANA) test, anti-Smith antibody and anti-double stranded DNA testing must be performed.

Complete blood count (CBC)

Complete blood count (CBC) with both platelet and differential count, kidney function, test of liver, urinalysis as well as serum acid. The complete blood count (CBC) is usually abnormal in patients with RA. Thrombocytosis and anemia consists of very chronic inflammation.


Radiographs of the feet, hands and wrists can be used at the time of the initial evaluation as a baseline used form monitoring for the progression of disease. Join erosion characteristics may be observed in RA patients.

5. Discuss the management option for this patient

The management options include the use of medication (Pharmacothherapy) (disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs ) (Rindfleisch and Muller,2005). The pharmacotherapy alternative involves the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) necessary for the control of pain as well as a selective application of low-dose oral as well as intra0articular gkucocorticoids.

Nonpharmacologic treatments

There are a number of nonpharmacologic treatments that can be used in the management of rheumatoid arthritis. Some of these include therapeutic fasting, spa therapies, dietary supplementation of the very essential fatty acids, exercise as well as journaling. Short-term benefits can be achieved by the application of the multi-disciplinary approach as well as patient education. Others suggest herbal medication can be used by attest of its efficacy is conspicuously missing.

Case study B

Case 2

1. Discuss the possible causes for Mrs. Thomas’s presenting problem and give the most likely probable diagnosis for her.

Mrs, Thomas could be suffering from either Multiple Sclerosis or carpal tunnel syndrome. What makes it to be likely to be suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome the fact that its genesis is pegged on her pregnancy and not any form of injury due to work or from falling. However a review of the symptoms and the application of the diagnostic criteria reveals that she has carpal tunnel syndrome

2. Give an explanation of the pathological process involved to produce the signs and symptoms of Mrs. Thomas.

According to Gorsche (2001) CTS is a complex symptom that results from the compression of a person’s median nerve at the carpal tunnel. The median nerve entrapment is noted as the pathological process which causes the symptoms associated with CTS.

3. Suggest the further investigation tests to confirm your diagnosis and explain what findings to you expect from these tests.

The tests for CTS are Tinel and Phalen tests.

Tinel test

Tinel test is a special test that involves the wrapping of the writs with a small surgical hammer and the application of pressure to the patient’s median nerve that lies in their writs. Carpal tunnel syndrome e is positively confirmed if the patience feels/experiences a rather tingling sensation in their fingers or if they experience shock.

The Phalen test

The Phalen test involves the testing of the amount of wrist flexion of a given patient. The patient is told to have their forearms in an upright position with their fingers placed in a downward position while the back of their hands are gently placed together.

If the presence of the carpal tunnel syndrome is positively confirmed then the physician should recommend some form of treatment which should be initiated as soon as possible before further damage is done. The treatment for the syndrome ranges from simple physical therapy to painkilling drugs. Should the case be a severe one then the patient may have to undergo release surgery in order to help them relieve pressure that has built up around the media nerve.

4. Mrs. Thomas has a history of fall from a swing at the age of 13 with no neurological damage. Discuss the possible effects of injury to the cervical vertebrae from such a fall.

An injury to the cervical vertebrae may affect how other systems and organs in the body works. It may for instance be a cause of headaches, poor coordination and may predispose one to spinal cord trauma. Such a fall may cause a massive pressure build up a round the median nerve which may case severe spinal trauma to the affected patient

5. Discuss the management option for Mrs. Thomas’s presenting complain considering that she is pregnant and has gestational diabetes.

The management options for Mrs. Thomas are:

Application of traction using cervical tongs


Carrying out of procedures for realigning the bony fragments


In the management of the condition, Viera (2003) noted that the use of nonsteroidal and anti-inflammatory medication, diuretics as well as pyroxide is not different from the use of placebo. Should the symptoms be noted to be refractory in the sense of conservativeness and even if the studies of nerve conditions have very series levels of entrapment, an endoscopic/open carpal tunnel a may eventually be introduced. The Carpal tunnel syndrome is noted to be fully treatable in a conservative manner. The most logical choice of management of Carpal tunnel syndrome would be to use the existing opportunity to treat the disease during pregnancy


Gorsche, R (2001).Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. The Canadian Journal of CME

Rindfleisch JA, Muller D. (2005).Diagnosis and management of rheumatoid arthritis.

Am Fam Physician. 2005 Sep 15;72(6):1037-47.

Smith CA, Woolf AD, Lenci M.(1987)Parvoviruses: infections and arthropathies. Rheum Dis Clin North Am. 1987 Aug;13(2):249-63.

Vitali C, Sciuto M, Bombardieri S. (1993)Immunotherapy in rheumatoid arthritis: a review. Int J. Artif Organs. 1993 Dec;16 Suppl 5:196-200.

Vossenaart, ER et al. (2004)Citrullination, a possible functional link between susceptibility genes and rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis Res Ther 2004, 6:1-5 (DOI 10.1186/ar1027

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