Misdiagnosis of Chlamydia


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Chlamydia was cited by Reader's Digest as one of the top 10 misdiagnosed diseases. Undiagnosed prevalence can be high: 9.51% of female Army recruits had undiagnosed chlamydia in a study by Charlotte Gaydos as reported by Reader's Digest. In the article entitled "10 Diseases Doctors Miss", the 10 diseases mentioned were hepatitis C, lupus, celiac disease, hemochromatosis, aneurysm, Lyme disease, hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid), polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), chlamydia, and sleep apnea. 1

About misdiagnosis: When checking for a misdiagnosis of Chlamydia or confirming a diagnosis of Chlamydia, it is useful to consider what other medical conditions might be possible misdiagnoses or other alternative conditions relevant to diagnosis. These alternate diagnoses of Chlamydia may already have been considered by your doctor or may need to be considered as possible alternative diagnoses or candidates for misdiagnosis of Chlamydia. For a general overview of misdiagnosis issues for all diseases, see Overview of Misdiagnosis.

Alternative diagnoses list for Chlamydia: For a diagnosis of Chlamydia, the following list of conditions have been mentioned in sources as possible alternative diagnoses to consider during the diagnostic process for Chlamydia:

Chlamydia as an alternative diagnosis: The other diseases for which Chlamydia is listed as a possible alternative diagnosis in their lists include:

Discussion of diagnosis/misdiagnosis of Chlamydia: Chlamydial infection is easily confused with gonorrhea because the symptoms of both diseases are similar and the diseases can occur together, though rarely. 2

Chlamydia is easily confused with gonorrhea because the symptoms of both diseases are similar, and because they often occur together. Until recently, the only way to diagnose chlamydia was to take a sample of secretions from a patientís genital area and culture the organism in special tissue culture in the laboratory. While still the most definitive test, it is expensive and technically difficult. Results can take up to 3 days. More recently, however, several rapid tests that use sophisticated techniques and a dye to detect bacterial proteins have been developed and are a readily available test for chlamydial infection. 3

Misdiagnosis cases for Chlamydia: No cases available yet.

Footnotes:
1. Reader's Digest, February 2004, "10 Diseases Doctors Miss", page 120
2. excerpt from Chlamydial Infection, NIAID Fact Sheet: NIAID
3. excerpt from Chlamydia: NWHIC

Last revision: October 23, 2003

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