Gregory House is no ordinary doctor, so it only makes sense that he doesn’t treat ordinary patients. Here, the story behind five freaky cases he’s solved at Princeton Plainsboro Teaching Hospital, where no cold is ever common.
SYMPTOM: Inexplicable freak-out while strutting down the catwalk
DIAGNOSIS: Testicular cancer
CASE STUDY: A fit of runway rage suggests cancer for gorgeous teen model Alexandra. But a tumor isn’t all the MRI shows: Alex has a pair of internal testes, leading to a hormonal condition that explains her stunning looks.
DIAGNOSIS: The plague
CASE STUDY: A woman who hasn’t slept in 10 days, even after taking a bottle of sedatives, begins bleeding profusely. House and his team try a liver transplant before realizing that her new dog’s fleas came with bubonic baggage. (Sleeplessness is a little-known side effect of the plague. Who knew?)
SYMPTOM: Sudden inability to speak coherently
DIAGNOSIS: Cerebral malaria
CASE STUDY: With House out of town, the other M.D.’s struggle to decipher a journalist’s scrambled speech (”I couldn’t tackle the bear!”). No dice until House, over speakerphone, deduces that the reporter picked up a parasite on a secret trip to South America.
SYMPTOM: Disorientation during a calculus exam
DIAGNOSIS: A poisonous pair of pants
CASE STUDY: Two high schoolers have been exposed to the same toxic chemical, but which one? After ruling out contaminated air freshener and detergent, House concludes that their designer jeans were accidentally sprayed with pesticide.
SYMPTOM: Anaphylactic shock
DIAGNOSIS: A deadly bug attached to your privates
CASE STUDY: When a teenager’s allergic crisis is followed by a heart attack and rapid paralysis, House insists a tick is somewhere on her body. Only after hijacking an elevator and probing underneath her gown does he find the tiny blood-sucking tyrant.