Medical Definition of False positive

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

False positive: A result that indicates that a given condition is present when it is not. An example of a false positive would be if a particular test designed to detect cancer returns a positive result but the person does not have 'cancer.

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Reviewed on 12/4/2018

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