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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Pulmonary contusion due to trauma is an example of a condition that can be asymptomatic with half of people showing no signs at the initial presentation since such symptoms can take time to develop. The CT scan show a pulmonary contusion (red arrow) accompanied by a rib fracture (blue arrow).

In medicine, a disease is asymptomatic if a patient carries a disease or infection but experiences no symptoms. A condition might be asymptomatic if it fails to show the noticeable symptoms with which it is usually associated. Asymptomatic infections are also called subclinical infections. The term clinically silent is also used.

Knowing that a condition is asymptomatic is important since



Asymptomatic infections are important since a person might be infectious and so can spread the infection to others.


Asymptomatic conditions may not be discovered until the patient undergoes medical tests (X-rays or other investigations). Some remain asymptomatic for a remarkably long time, including some forms of cancer. If a patient is asymptomatic, precautionary steps must be taken.

A patient's individual genetic makeup may delay or prevent the onset of symptoms.


These are conditions for which at least sufficient individuals exist that are asymptomatic that it is clinically noted. For list of asymptomatic infections see subclinical infection


  1. ^ Tattersall R. (2001). Diseases the doctor (or autoanalyser) says you have got. Clin Med. 1(3):230-3. PubMed
  2. ^ Watson AJ, Walker JF, Tomkin GH, Finn MM, Keogh JA (1981). Acute Wernickes encephalopathy precipitated by glucose loading. Ir J Med Sci 150:301–303 PubMed

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