Disease, subclinical: An illness that stays "below the surface" of clinical detection. A subclinical disease has no or minimally recognizable clinical findings. It is distinct from a clinical disease, which has signs and symptoms that can be more easily recognized. Many diseases, including diabetes, hypothyroidism, rheumatoid arthritis, infections or cancers can be subclinical before surfacing as clinical diseases.
Last Editorial Review: 12/4/2018