Video encyclopedia

Acute (medicine)


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In medicine, describing a disease as acute denotes that it is of short duration and, as a corollary of that, of recent onset. The quantitation of how much time constitutes "short" and "recent" varies by disease and by context, but the core denotation of "acute" is always qualitatively in contrast with "chronic", which denotes long-lasting disease. In addition, "acute" also often connotes two other meanings: sudden onset and severity, such as in acute myocardial infarction (EMI), where suddenness and severity are both established aspects of the meaning. It thus often connotes that the condition is fulminant, but not always. The one thing that acute MI and acute rhinitis have in common is that they are not chronic. They can happen again, but they are not the same case ongoing for months or years.
  • Meaning variationsĀ 

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