Also found in: Dictionary.
1. Synonym(s): exciting cause
2. The beginning of a disease under the influence of the exciting cause, a predisposing cause already existing.
[G. a beginning beforehand, fr. prokatararchomi, to begin first, fr. pro, before, + kata, upon, + archō, to begin]
procatarxisAn antiquated term defined by English physician William Harvey (1578–1657), a student of Fabricius, as “the kindling of a disease into action”, and more recently as:
(1) A predisposing cause; e.g., aetiologic agent;
(2) Predisposition; e.g., aetiologic mechanism;
(3) The production of a disease partially as a result of predisposition; e.g., preclinical disease.
Procatarxis is not used in the working medical parlance.