Over the last three decades, the development of systematic and protocol-based algorithms, and advances in available diagnostic tests have become the indispensable parts of practising medicine. Naturally, despite the implementation of meticulous protocols involving diagnostic tests or even trials of empirical therapies, the cause of one’s symptoms may still not be obvious. We herein report a case of chronic back pain, which took about 5 years to get accurately diagnosed. The case challenges the diagnostic assumptions and sets ground of discussion for the diagnostic reasoning pitfalls and heuristic biases that mislead the caring physicians and cost years of low quality of life to our patient. This case serves as an example of how anchoring heuristics can interfere in the diagnostic process of a complex and rare entity when combined with a concurrent potentially life-threatening condition.
- vascular surgery
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