Acute aortic pathology, munchausen syndrome, and confirmation bias

Massimo Massetti, Mario Fulvio Luigi Gaudino, Giuseppe Nasso, Valerio Romano, Claudio Pragliola, Alessandro Di Cesare, Vito Romano, Giuseppe Speziale

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivistapeer review


BACKGROUND: Munchausen syndrome is a psychiatric disease characterized by pathological lying and malingering. Patients who are affected can set up such complex and compelling clinical scenarios that they can lead to a bias in the diagnostic process and even to unnecessary surgery. CASE REPORTS: Two cases of Munchausen syndrome misrepresenting acute aortic dissection are reported. The two cases occurred at two different institutions where there was considerable expertise in the management of aortic pathology. In both patients, a wrong diagnosis of acute aortic syndrome was made, leading to unnecessary surgery. CONCLUSIONS: Retrospective analysis of the clinical events and the diagnostic process suggests that a confirmation bias played a major role in determining the misdiagnosis. The same mistake is likely to have occurred in the only other case reported in the literature
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)183-186
Numero di pagine4
RivistaJournal of Emergency Medicine
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2013


  • Munchausen syndrome


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