Mumps Differential Diagnoses

Updated: Jan 17, 2019
  • Author: Germaine L Defendi, MD, MS, FAAP; Chief Editor: Russell W Steele, MD  more...
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Diagnostic Considerations

Approximately 10% of all infected patients develop a mild case of aseptic meningitis, which initially due to clinical presentation can be confused with bacterial meningitis. Encephalitis, transient myelitis, and polyneuritis are rare.

A study investigated the clinical skill of medical examiners to successfully diagnose mumps. Results showed that only 14% of 2082 cases could be laboratory confirmed during an outbreak. [19] The study concluded that the clinicians' acumen for mumps diagnosis is poor, if based solely on clinical presentation.

Conditions to be considered in the differential diagnosis for mumps include the following:

  • Viral pathologies (ie, uveoparotid fever, coxsackie virus, influenza A virus, parainfluenza virus, cytomegalovirus, adenovirus, Epstein-Barr virus, varicella-zoster virus)

  • Suppurative (bacterial, especially Staphylococcus aureus) or recurrent parotitis

  • Parotid calculus

  • Parotitis (different etiologies)

  • Mixed tumors, hemangiomas, lymphangiomas of the parotid gland

  • Calculus of the Stensen's duct

  • Adenitis (cervical lymphadenitis)

  • Mastoiditis

  • Orchitis

  • Epididymitis

  • Ovarian torsion

  • Mikulicz syndrome

  • Sjögren syndrome

  • Drug reactions (thiazide diuretics)

  • Allergic reaction (rare)

Differential Diagnoses