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Brown-Séquard Syndrome

General Features Brown-Séquard syndrome occurs due to lateral hemisection of the spinal cord Unilateral involvement of the dorsal column, corticospinal tract, and spinothalamic tract Causes of spinal cord hemisection include penetrating trauma from a stab, bullet, or...

Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia

General Features Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) is an immune mediated disorder resulting from exposure to heparin May result in loss of limb or life Typical onset 5-10 days after heparin exposure Caused by IgG antibodies formed in response to complexes of...

Polymyositis vs. Dermatomyositis (Audiovisual Medcomic)

General Features Inflammatory myopathies with symmetric proximal weakness Involves muscle fiber destruction and inflammatory infiltration of muscles May cause patients trouble rising from chairs, climbing stairs, and combing hair Myalgias Occur more frequently in...

Urinary Casts

Features Cylindrical structures Composed of Tamm-Horsfall mucoprotein Formed in the tubular lumen of the distal nephron Some casts are benign while others may indicate significant renal disease Casts are characterized by the types of cells or elements which they...

Hereditary Hemochromatosis vs. Wilson Disease

General Features Hereditary hemochromatosis: disorder of iron overload Accumulation of iron resulting in toxicity of the liver, pancreas, joints, skin, heart, and endocrine organs Wilson disease (hepatolenticular degeneration): disorder of copper overload Accumulation...

Pleural Effusions: Transudate vs. Exudate

Classifying Pleural Effusions A pleural effusion is an accumulation of fluid within the pleural space Determining the underlying cause is facilitated by thoracentesis and pleural fluid analysis The pleural fluid may be classified as a transudate or an exudate,...

Pterygium vs. Pinguecula

Pterygium: fleshy triangular mass that extends to the cornea. May interfere with vision. Pinguecula: yellowish elevated bump or patch that does not grow across the cornea. Treatment is not usually necessary but can be resected. Both are conjunctival...

Epistaxis

Epistaxis may be classified as anterior or posterior nosebleeds. Anterior nosebleeds are most common, usually occurring at Kiesselbach’s plexus in the anterior nasal septum. Kiesselbach's plexus consists of the anterior ethmoid, greater palatine, sphenopalatine, and...

Porcelain Gallbladder vs. Courvoisier’s Gallbladder

Porcelain gallbladder: calcified gallbladder on abdominal radiograph due to scarring caused by chronic cholelithiasis/cholecystitis. Requires cholecystectomy due to association with gallbladder carcinoma. Courvoisier's gallbladder: enlarged, palpable nontender...