Menopause differential diagnosis

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1] Rahmah Al-Edresi, M.D.[2]


Overview

Menopause should be differentiated from other diseases presenting with menstrual irregularities (oligomenorrhea/amenorrhea).

Differential diagnosis of menopause from other diseases

[1][2][3][4][5][6][7]

Diseases Onset Manifestations Diagnosis
History and Symptoms Physical examination Laboratory findings Gold standard Imaging Other investigation findings
Trumatic delivery Lactation failure Menstrual irregularities Other features
Sheehan's syndrome Acute ++ ++ Oligo/amenorrhea Symptoms of:
  • Clinical diagnosis
  • Most senitive test: Low baseline prolactin levels w/o response to TRH
CT/MRI:
  • Sequential changes of pituitary enlargement followed by:
  • Shrinkage and necrosis leading to decreased sellar volume or empty sella
Lymphocytic hypophysitis Acute +/- + Oligo/amenorrhea
  • Retro-orbital or Bitemporal pain
  • Diffuse and homogeneous contrast enhancement
Assays for:
  • Anti-TPO
  • Anti-Tg Ab
Pituitary apoplexy Acute +/- ++ Oligo/amenorrhea Severe headache
  • Decreased levels of anterior pituitary hormones in blood.
  • CT scan without contrast: Hemorrhage on CT presents as a hyperdense lesion

Blood tests may be done to check:

Empty sella syndrome Chronic - + Oligo/amenorrhea
  • Decreased levels of pituitary hormones in the blood.
Simmonds' disease/Pituitary cachexia Chronic +/- + Oligo/amenorrhea
  • Loss of body hair
  • Decreased levels of anterior pituitary hormones in the blood.
  • Done to rule out any pituitary cause
Hypothyroidism Chronic +/- - Oligomenorrhea/menorrhagia
  • Dry skin
  • Hair loss
  • Done to rule out any pituitary cause
  • Assays for anti-TPO and anti-Tg Ab
  • FNA biopsy
Hypogonadotropic hypogonadism Chronic - - Oligo/amenorrhea
  • Energy and mood changes
  • Done to rule out any pituitary cause
Hypoprolactinemia Chronic - + -
  • Puerperal agalactogenesis
  • No workup is necessary
  • Decreased prolactin levels
  • Done to rule out any pituitary cause
Panhypopituitarism Chronic - + Oligo/amenorrhea
  • All pituitary hormones decreased
  • Done to rule out any pituitary cause
Primary adrenal insufficiency/Addison's disease Chronic - - -
  • Abdominal CT
  • Abdominal CT
  • Anti-adrenal Ab testing
Menopause Chronic - +/- Oligo/amenorrhea Normal


References

  1. Sato N, Sze G, Endo K (1998). "Hypophysitis: endocrinologic and dynamic MR findings". AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 19 (3): 439–44. PMID 9541295.
  2. Powrie JK, Powell M, Ayers AB, Lowy C, Sönksen PH (1995). "Lymphocytic adenohypophysitis: magnetic resonance imaging features of two new cases and a review of the literature". Clin. Endocrinol. (Oxf). 42 (3): 315–22. PMID 7758238.
  3. Honegger J, Schlaffer S, Menzel C, Droste M, Werner S, Elbelt U, Strasburger C, Störmann S, Küppers A, Streetz-van der Werf C, Deutschbein T, Stieg M, Rotermund R, Milian M, Petersenn S (2015). "Diagnosis of Primary Hypophysitis in Germany". J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. 100 (10): 3841–9. doi:10.1210/jc.2015-2152. PMID 26262437.
  4. Thodou E, Asa SL, Kontogeorgos G, Kovacs K, Horvath E, Ezzat S (1995). "Clinical case seminar: lymphocytic hypophysitis: clinicopathological findings". J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. 80 (8): 2302–11. doi:10.1210/jcem.80.8.7629223. PMID 7629223.
  5. Imura H, Nakao K, Shimatsu A, Ogawa Y, Sando T, Fujisawa I, Yamabe H (1993). "Lymphocytic infundibuloneurohypophysitis as a cause of central diabetes insipidus". N. Engl. J. Med. 329 (10): 683–9. doi:10.1056/NEJM199309023291002. PMID 8345854.
  6. Hsieh CY, Liu BY, Yang YN, Yin WH, Young MS (2011). "Massive pericardial effusion with diastolic right ventricular compression secondary to hypothyroidism in a 73-year-old woman". Emerg Med Australas. 23 (3): 372–5. doi:10.1111/j.1742-6723.2011.01425.x. PMID 21668725.
  7. Dejager S, Gerber S, Foubert L, Turpin G (1998). "Sheehan's syndrome: differential diagnosis in the acute phase". J. Intern. Med. 244 (3): 261–6. PMID 9747750.


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