Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Munchausen syndrome

Q: Factitious disorder (Munchausen syndrome) is characterized by all of the following except? 

 A) Higher in female gender 
B) Higher in married individuals 
C) Higher in healthcare workers 
D) Excellent verbal skills 
E) Possible positive findings on CT/MRI (neuro-imaging)

Answer: B

Factitious disorder is a psychiatric disorder characterized by a patient deceptively misrepresent an illness and/or injury even there is no financial reward.

The objective of above question is to emphasis that although factitious disorder is considered as a pure non-physiological state but recent  reports are pointing towards positive findings in brain, like disseminated white matter lesions on MRI, bilateral frontotemporal cortical atrophy on CT scan or hyperperfusion of the right thalamus on SPECT scan.

It is more common in unmarried individuals.



1. Bass C, Halligan P. Factitious disorders and malingering: challenges for clinical assessment and management. Lancet 2014; 383:1422.

2. Pankratz L, Lezak MD. Cerebral dysfunction in the Munchausen syndrome. Hillside J Clin Psychiatry 1987; 9:195. 

3. Fénelon G, Mahieux F, Roullet E, Guillard A. Munchausen's syndrome and abnormalities on magnetic resonance imaging of the brain. BMJ 1991; 302:996. 

4. Babe KS Jr, Peterson AM, Loosen PT, Geracioti TD Jr. The pathogenesis of Munchausen syndrome. A review and case report. Gen Hosp Psychiatry 1992; 14:273. 

5. Mountz JM, Parker PE, Liu HG, et al. Tc-99m HMPAO brain SPECT scanning in Munchausen syndrome. J Psychiatry Neurosci 1996; 21:49.

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