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Pathognomonic (often misspelled as pathognomic and sometimes as pathomnemonic) is an adjective of Greek origin (παθογνωμονικό [σύμπτωμα]), often used in medicine, which means diagnostic for a particular disease. A pathognomonic sign is a particular sign whose presence means, beyond any doubt, that a particular disease is present. It is derived from the Greek páthos (πάθος, disease) and gnōmon (γνώμον, "judge"). Labelling a sign or symptom "pathognomonic" represents a marked intensification of a "diagnostic" sign or symptom.
While some findings may be classic, typical or highly suggestive in a certain condition, they may not occur uniquely in this condition and therefore may not directly imply a specific diagnosis. A pathognomonic finding on the other hand allows immediate diagnosing, since there are no other conditions in the differential diagnosis. A pathognomonic sign or symptom can sometimes be absent in a certain disease, since the term only implies that when it is present, the doctor instantly knows the patient's illness.
Singular pathognomonic signs are relatively uncommon. Examples of pathognomonic findings include Koplik's spots inside the mouth in measles, the palmar xanthomata seen on the hands of people suffering from hyperlipoproteinemia.
None or very few of the examples here are pathognomonic in the true sense of the word. For example, Parkinsonism is not only seen in Parkinson's disease.
|Duchenne's Muscular Dystrophy||Gowers' sign|
|Hypocalcemia||Trousseau sign and Chvostek sign|
|Liver cirrhosis||Spider angioma|
|Systemic Lupus Erythematosus||Butterfly rash|
|Bulimia Nervosa||Chipmunk facies (parotid gland swelling) (Chipmunk facies also seen in marrow expansion secondary to Beta Thalassemia Major)|
|Leprosy||Leonine facies (thickened lion-like facial skin)|
|Diphtheria||Pseudomembrane on tonsils, pharynx and nasal cavity|
|Grave's disease||New bilateral Exophthalmos|
|Pancreatitis||Cullen's sign (bluish discoloration of umbilicus)|
|Chronic hemorrhagic pancreatitis||Grey-Turner's sign (ecchymosis in flank area)|
|Typhoid fever||Rose spots in abdomen|
|Meningitis||Kernig's sign and Brudzinski's sign|
|Cholecystitis||Murphy's sign (pain on deep inspiration when inflamed gallbladder is palpated)|
|Angina pectoris||Levine's sign (hand clutching of chest)|
|Patent ductus arteriosus||Machine-like murmur|
|Parkinson’s disease||Pill-rolling tremors|
|Whipple's disease||Oculo-Masticatory Myorhythmia|
|Rib fracture||Pain produced with attempts to sleep on one's back|
|Acute Myeloid Leukemia||Auer rod|
|Multiple Sclerosis||Bilateral internuclear ophthalmoplegia|
|Congestive heart failure||Third heart sound|
|Pericardial friction rub||Pericarditis|
|Neurofibromatosis I||Plexiform neurofibroma|
|Hodgkin's lymphoma||Hodgkin and Reed-Sternberg cells (giant mono- and multinucleated cells)|
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