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an etiologic factor without which a result in question will not occur; the occurrence of the result is proof that the factor is operating.
in diseases, an agent, event, condition or characteristic which plays an essential role in producing an occurrence of the disease. Because there is nowadays much less certainty about what actually establishes a disease state it is becoming more common to use terms such as disease determinants, causal association, causal relationship. koch's postulates are no longer the sole criterion used in establishing causality.
an inherent characteristic of the patient. Usually a systemic defect, e.g. protoporphyria.
there must be no known variable intervening between the suspect factor and the disease.
the cause comes from within the patient. See also constitutional cause (above).
the cause comes from outside the patient, e.g. a virus infection.
all causes other than the direct cause (see above).
see endogenous cause (above).
a factor which must be present to produce disease; the disease does not occur unless the factor was or is present.
the trigger mechanism that initiates the commencement of the disease state.
a mechanism that makes a patient more susceptible to the precipitating cause.
the principal factor in causing the disease.
a factor that assists the primary cause. A cause of secondary importance.
the single cause in a single cause-single disease relationship.
a minimal set of conditions and events which inevitably produce disease.