Asymptomatic

Asymptomatic
Pulmonary contusion due to trauma is an example of a condition that can be asymptomatic with half of people showing no signs at the initial presentation since such symptoms can take time to develop. The CT scan show a pulmonary contusion (red arrow) accompanied by a rib fracture (blue arrow).

In medicine, a disease is considered asymptomatic if a patient is a carrier for a disease or infection but experiences no symptoms. A condition might be asymptomatic if it fails to show the noticeable symptoms with which it is usually associated. Asymptomatic infections are also called subclinical infections. The term clinically silent is also used.

Knowing that a condition is asymptomatic is important because:

  • It may develop symptoms later and so require watch and wait or early treatment.
  • It may resolve itself or be benign.
  • It is required that a person undergoes treatment so it does not cause later medical problems such as high blood pressure and hyperlipidaemia.[1]
  • Be alert to possible problems: asymptomatic hypothyroidism makes a person vulnerable to Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome or beri-beri following intravenous glucose.[2]
  • The affected person may be infectious and unknowingly spread the infection to others.

Contents

Conditions

Asymptomatic conditions may not be discovered until the patient undergoes medical tests (X-rays or other investigations). Some people may remain asymptomatic for a remarkably long period of time; such as people with some forms of cancer. If a patient is asymptomatic, precautionary steps must be taken.

A patient's individual genetic makeup may delay or prevent the onset of symptoms.

List

These are conditions for which there is a sufficient number of documented individuals that are asymptomatic that it is clinically noted. For a complete list of asymptomatic infections see subclinical infection

References

  1. ^ Tattersall, R. (2001). "Diseases the doctor (or autoanalyser) says you have got". Clinical medicine (London, England) 1 (3): 230–233. PMID 11446622.  edit
  2. ^ Watson, A. J.; Walker, J. F.; Tomkin, G. H.; Finn, M. M.; Keogh, J. A. (1981). "Acute Wernickes encephalopathy precipitated by glucose loading". Irish journal of medical science 150 (10): 301–303. PMID 7319764.  edit

See also


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • asymptomatic — adj. (Med.) showing no symptoms of disease. Syn: symptomless. [WordNet 1.5] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • asymptomatic — (adj.) without symptoms, 1856, from a , privative prefix, + SYMPTOMATIC (Cf. symptomatic) …   Etymology dictionary

  • asymptomatic — [ā΄simp tə ma′tik] adj. without symptoms …   English World dictionary

  • Asymptomatic — Without symptoms. For example, an asymptomatic infection is an infection with no symptoms. * * * Without symptoms, or producing no symptoms. * * * asymp·tom·at·ic .ā .sim(p) tə mat ik adj presenting no symptoms of disease <asymptomatic… …   Medical dictionary

  • asymptomatic — [[t]e͟ɪsɪmptəmæ̱tɪk[/t]] ADJ If someone with a disease is asymptomatic, it means that they do not show any symptoms of the disease. [MEDICAL] I have patients who are HIV positive and asymptomatic. Ant: symptomatic …   English dictionary

  • asymptomatic — a|symp|to|mat|ic [æˌsımptəmætık, eı US eı ] adj medical if someone or the illness that they have is asymptomatic, the illness has no physical signs …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • asymptomatic — a|symp|to|mat|ic [ ,eısımptə mætık ] adjective MEDICAL if a disease or person is asymptomatic, they show no physical signs of a medical problem …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • asymptomatic — adjective if someone or the illness that they have is asymptomatic, there are no signs of the illness …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • asymptomatic — UK [æˌsɪmptəˈmætɪk] / UK [ˌeɪsɪmptəˈmætɪk] / US [ˌeɪsɪmptəˈmætɪk] adjective medical if a disease or person is asymptomatic, they show no physical signs of a medical problem …   English dictionary

  • Asymptomatic carrier — An asymptomatic carrier (healthy carrier or just carrier) is a person or other organism that has contracted an infectious disease, but who displays no symptoms. Although unaffected by the disease themselves, carriers can transmit it to others. In …   Wikipedia

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