precipitating cause

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Related to precipitating cause: necessary cause, primary cause

pre·cip·i·tat·ing cause

a factor that initiates the onset of manifestations of a disease process.

pre·cip·i·tat·ing cause

(prĕ-sipi-tāt-ing kawz)
Factor that initiates onset of manifestations of a disease process.


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.

constitutional cause
an inherent characteristic of the patient. Usually a systemic defect, e.g. protoporphyria.
direct cause
there must be no known variable intervening between the suspect factor and the disease.
endogenous cause
the cause comes from within the patient. See also constitutional cause (above).
exogenous cause
the cause comes from outside the patient, e.g. a virus infection.
indirect cause
all causes other than the direct cause (see above).
host cause
see endogenous cause (above).
necessary cause
a factor which must be present to produce disease; the disease does not occur unless the factor was or is present.
precipitating cause
the trigger mechanism that initiates the commencement of the disease state.
predisposing cause
a mechanism that makes a patient more susceptible to the precipitating cause.
primary cause
the principal factor in causing the disease.
secondary cause
a factor that assists the primary cause. A cause of secondary importance.
specific cause
the single cause in a single cause-single disease relationship.
sufficient cause
a minimal set of conditions and events which inevitably produce disease.
References in periodicals archive ?
Precipitating cause of encephalopathy was determined from detailed history and investigations like full blood count with differential, urinalysis, serum electrolytes and renal function tests.
This time", she replied, "the precipitating cause was gin".
for long periods of time, except in certain circumstances such as when the precipitating cause of insomnia is not likely to resolve (e.
If an intercurrent medical problem is identified as the precipitating cause of the atrial fibrillation and this has been corrected, the patient is not given such treatment.
The data bases used in this analysis include the program management and medical information system (PMMIS) to obtain modality, age, race, sex, duration of ESRD and precipitating cause of ESRD on all the Medicare ESRD beneficiaries as of April 1, 1993; the 1993 ESRD facility survey data base to obtain the number of patients in each facility; the area resource file (ARF) to obtain data to calculate facilities per square mile; the 1990 U.
Because the half-life of CRP is constant, levels are mainly determined by the rate of production and therefore by the severity of the precipitating cause.
This single underlying cause is used for mortality statistics, as public health aims to prevent this precipitating cause.
Simple treatment of the precipitating cause is highly effective.
Once the precipitating cause has been treated, evacuating the hematoma and achieving hemostasis usually resolves the acute condition.
Economic impact of diabetic ketoacidosis in a multiethnic indigent population: analysis of costs based on the precipitating cause.