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Functio laesa is a term used in medicine to refer to a loss of function [1] [2] or a disturbance of function.[3]

It was identified as the fifth sign of acute inflammation by Galen,[4] who added it to the four signs identified by Celsus (tumor, rubor, calor, and dolor).

The attribution to Galen is disputed,[3] and has variously been attributed to Thomas Sydenham[5] and Rudolf Virchow.[6]


  1. ^ "Dorlands Medical Dictionary:cardinal signs".  
  2. ^ "Definition: functio laesa from Online Medical Dictionary".  
  3. ^ a b Rather LJ (March 1971). "Disturbance of function (functio laesa): The legendary fifth cardinal sign of inflammation, added by Galen to the four cardinal signs of Celsus". Bull N Y Acad Med 47 (3): 303–22. PMID 5276838.  
  4. ^ Porth, Carol (2007). Essentials of pahtophysiology: concepts of altered health states. Hagerstown, MD: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. pp. 270. ISBN 0-7817-7087-4.  
  5. ^ Dormandy, Thomas (2006). The worst of evils: man's fight against pain. New Haven, Conn: Yale University Press. pp. 22. ISBN 0-300-11322-6.  
  6. ^ David Lowell Strayer; Raphael Rubin (2007). Rubin's Pathology: Clinicopathologic Foundations of Medicine 5th Edition. Hagerstown, MD: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. pp. 37. ISBN 0-7817-9516-8.  

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