Subclinical disease

Dr Daniel J Bell et al.

Subclinical disease refers to the initial period of a disease when no symptoms or signs have yet manifested. It is often used for infective disease.  

In a radiology context it may be used for an abnormal radiology finding which has not yet become apparent clinically, e.g. a mild inguinal hernia may be incidentally found on CT or ultrasound, but the patient has not yet become aware of its existence.

Many subclinical states never become clinical and therefore the fact that someone might have subclinical hypothyroidism on a laboratory assay does not mean that they will ever present with overt symptoms or signs.

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Article information

rID: 64099
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Subclinical pathology

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