Misdiagnosis of multiple sclerosis occurs in a significant percentage of patients.

Reasons for misdiagnosis:

(1) failure to apply diagnostic criteria properly

(2) failure to consider alternative diagnoses

(3) accepting an historical event as a first attack in the absence of objective evidence

(4) rushing to make a diagnosis

(5) inexperience with multiple sclerosis

(6) misinterpreting findings that are atypical for MS


Conditions that may be misdiagnosed as MS:

(1) migraine

(2) spondylopathy

(3) neuropathy

(4) radiologically isolated syndrome


If imaging or other tests (eg, CSF) are undertaken and are negative, caution needs to be

taken before making a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis, and alternative diagnoses should be considered.

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