symptom

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symptom

Med any sensation or change in bodily function experienced by a patient that is associated with a particular disease
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Symptom

 

an indication of a phenomenon, for example, of a disease. Many types of symptoms are distinguished in medicine. Constitutional symptoms characterize diseases of varying genesis and include weakness and increases in body temperature. Pathognomonic symptoms indicate a definite nosologic form; a stabbing pain in the epigastric region, for example, is typical of a perforating gastric ulcer. Subjective symptoms are only revealed upon questioning the individual, and objective symptoms are readily observable through examination, palpation, percussion, auscultation, and laboratory and instrumental diagnostic methods. Signal symptoms are the precursors of a disease. They include early symptoms, such as chest pains with pneumonia, and late symptoms, such as peritoneal irritation with cholecystitis.

A disease is said to be atypical if its characteristic symptoms are absent from the very beginning; an example of an atypical disease is the painless form of myocardial infarction. Modern therapeutic measures and protective inoculations can substantially alter the symptoms of a disease and even cause them to disappear. Diagnosis and prognosis are based on a knowledge of all of the symptoms of a disease.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

symptom

[′sim·təm]
(medicine)
A phenomenon of physical or mental disorder or disturbance which leads to complaints on the part of the patient.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.