How can pain help guide a physician in the differential diagnosis of systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS)?

Updated: May 07, 2018
  • Author: Lewis J Kaplan, MD, FACS, FCCM, FCCP; Chief Editor: Michael R Pinsky, MD, CM, Dr(HC), FCCP, FAPS, MCCM  more...
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Answer

Pain, especially when it can be localized, may guide a physician in differential diagnosis and necessary evaluation. Although providing a differential for pain in the various body parts is beyond the scope of this article, a physician should carefully obtain information on the duration, location, radiation, quality, and exacerbating factors associated with the pain to help establish a thorough differential diagnosis.

In patients for whom a diagnosis cannot be made on the basis of the initial history, a complete review of systems is indicated to try to uncover a potential diagnosis.


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