Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Idioms, Wikipedia.
remission(less commonly), remittal
a period during the course of a chronic disease of man or animals during which the disease’s symptoms diminish or disappear. Remissions may result from the cyclic nature of a disease, as in the case of malaria, manic-depressive psychosis, or familial Mediterranean fever. They may also arise spontaneously, as with nephrolithiasis, or result from treatment, as in the case of schizophrenia or chronic dysentery.
Remissions may be complete or incomplete, depending on the degree of abatement of the subjective and objective symptoms of the disease. Complete remissions may continue for months and years, as in the case of lymphogranulomatosis. In other diseases, remission is unstable and may soon give way to a recurrence of the disease. Some symptoms of a disease, such as chromosome disturbance in the case of leukoses, may persist during complete remissions; therefore, maintenance therapy is often continued. At times it is difficult to distinguish complete remissions of many years from actual recovery, for example, with acute lymphoblastic leukosis in children.