Medical Definition of Pathognomonic

  • 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.

Pathognomonic: A sign or symptom that is so characteristic of a disease that it can be used to make a diagnosis. For example, Koplik spots in the mouth opposite the first and second upper molars are pathognomonic of measles.

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Reviewed on 12/27/2018

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