- A sign or symptom that is so characteristic of a disease that it makes the diagnosis. For example, Koplik’s spots (on the buccal mucosa opposite the lst and 2nd upper molars) are pathognomonic of measles. The word “pathognomonic” (pronounced patho-no-monic) comes from the Greek “pathognomonikos’ meaning “skilled in judging diseases.”
* * *Characteristic or indicative of a disease; denoting especially one or more typical symptoms, findings, or pattern of abnormalities specific for a given disease and not found in any other condition. [see pathognomy]
* * *pa·tho·gno·mon·ic .path-ə(g)-nō-'män-ik adj distinctively characteristic of a particular disease or condition <erosions, which are virtually \pathognomonic of GERD (Barbara Baker)>
* * *adj.describing a symptom or sign that is characteristic of or unique to a particular disease. The presence of such a sign or symptom allows positive diagnosis of the disease.
* * *pa·thog·no·mon·ic (path″og-no-monґik) [patho- + Gr. gnōmonikos fit to give judgment] specifically distinctive or characteristic of a disease or pathologic condition; a sign or symptom on which a diagnosis can be made.
Medical dictionary. 2011.