great imitator

Medspeak A nonspecific term for any condition that is difficult to diagnose due to its polymorphous presentation; the classic ‘great imitator’ is syphilis, which has a broad clinical palette, especially vis-à-vis the skin and central nervous system; lesser ‘great’ imitators include HIV infection, hypothyroidism, systemic lupus erythematosus, tertiary Lyme disease, pheochromocytoma
Rheumatology Systemic lupus erythematosus, see there

great imitator

Great imposter A nonspecific term for any condition that is difficult to diagnose due to its polymorphous presentation; the classic 'great imitator' is syphilis, which has a broad clinical palette, especially affecting the skin and CNS; more recent lesser 'great imitators include HIV, hypothyroidism, tertiary Lyme disease, pheochromocytoma. Cf Internists' tumor RheumatologySystemic lupus erythematosus, see there.
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References in classic literature ?
Phaedrus, the great imitator of Aesop, plainly indicates this double purpose to be the true office of the writer of fables.
Being at my wits' end for want of money, and seeing what audiences Mathews drew, the idea occurred to me of starting an imitation of the great Imitator himself, in the shape of an "At Home," given by a woman.
MS has been dubbed the great imitator, presenting itself in many facets.
OTTAWA -- The great imitator is resurgent in cities throughout North America and Europe, and is defeating public health efforts to contain it.
Pulmonary dirofilariasis: the great imitator of primary or metastatic lung tumor.
Great technical playing, a great imitator, all head and little heart.
The reason given is that "Naipaul himself was a great imitator of the Europeans," people such as Levi-Strauss, who in turn got their notions about "the sad tropics" from eighteenth- and nineteenth-century "stay-at-home explorers.
The disease, often referred to as "The Great Imitator,' is commonly misdiagnosed as fibrositis, skin photosensitivity and even psychosomatic illness.
Children are great imitators and they want to please, so if their parents can join in as well, it engages the child and gives off the signals you want them to follow.
Toddlers are great imitators of behaviour they see and hear.
Renal cell carcinoma is one of the great imitators that has an erratic clinical course.