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A diagnosis may be anatomic, clinical or etiologic. By anatomic diagnosis is meant a description of the tissue changes that have taken place in the body as a result of disease, based on a study of the dead body. By clinical diagnosis is meant an opinion as to the nature, cause, probable course and termination of a pathologic process, based on a study of the living body. By etiologic diagnosis is meant the identification of the specific cause of a given pathologic process in an individual case. To illustrate: By means of the physical signs and a study of symptoms, the physician establishes the clinical diagnosis of lobar pneumonia. The exudate from the lungs is examined and the pneumococeus and staphylococcus are found, which establishes the etiologic diagnosis.
The patient dies, and at necropsy a study of the gross and microscopic changes in the lungs is made, which comprises the
RUTH CE, RIDER AS. LABOKATOEY AIDS IN CLINICAL DIAGNOSIS. JAMA. 1904;XLII(19):1195–1197. doi:10.1001/jama.1904.92490640001001
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