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Ann Med Psychol (Paris). 1996 Jan;154(1):60-3.

[A contribution of brain imaging techniques to the diagnosis of psychiatric emergencies].

[Article in French]


This study was performed in the psychiatric emergency unit of René-Dubos General Hospital (Pontoise, France). Two cases of female patients with motor deficiencies suggesting a diagnosis of conversion disorder because of preceding psychological stressors and lability of symptoms, are presented. In both cases, the diagnosis was reconsidered after the use of RMI for multiple sclerosis in one case, HIV related encephalopathy in the other. Recent studies have shown that organic diseases with a psychiatric presentation represent 1,2 to 4% of patients examined in emergency setting. Criteria for the diagnosis of conversion disorders are discussed (they are classified as dissociative disorders in ICD-10 and as somatoform disorders in DMS-IV). A diagnosis of conversion disorder should not be made before a thorough clinical and neurological evaluation has been performed.

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