Conversion disorder. Camouflage for brain lesions in two cases

Arch Intern Med. 1990 Jun;150(6):1343-5. doi: 10.1001/archinte.150.6.1343.


We present two cases of serious central nervous system disease initially misdiagnosed as conversion disorder. In each instance, multiple medical evaluations did not uncover the underlying neurologic disorder. Skepticism on the part of psychiatric evaluators led to eventual diagnosis. Common difficulties in the clinical application of the diagnostic criteria for conversion disorder are discussed in relation to the specific pitfalls of the two cases. We make recommendations to aid in the evaluation of suspected cases of conversion disorder.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Brain Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Brain Neoplasms / secondary
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / diagnosis
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / secondary
  • Conversion Disorder / diagnosis*
  • Diagnostic Errors
  • Hemangioma, Cavernous / diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Parietal Lobe*
  • Pons*