Nomenclature of disease
What is the nomenclature of disease?
- Aetiology refers to a disease’s underlying cause. Diseases whose aetiology is unknown are described as idiopathic, cryptogenic, or essential.
- Pathogenesis refers to the mechanism by which the aetiological agent produces the manifestations of a disease.
- Incidence refers to the number of new cases of a disease diagnosed over a certain period of time.
- Prevalence refers to the total number of cases of a disease present in a population at a certain moment in time.
- Prognosis is a prediction of the likely course of a disease.
- Morbidity describes the extent to which a patient’s overall health will be affected by a disease.
- Mortality reflects the likelihood of death from a particular disease.
- Acute and chronic refer to the time course of a pathological event. Acute illnesses are of rapid onset. Chronic conditions usually have a gradual onset and are more likely to have a prolonged course.
- A syndrome refers to a set of symptoms and clinical signs that, when occurring together, suggest a particular underlying cause(s).