- The return of signs and symptoms of a disease after the patient has enjoyed a remission. For example, a 51-year-old man had a cancer of the colon treated and went into remission with nary a sign nor symptom of the tumor. He stayed in remission for 4 years. He then suffered a relapse and had to be treated again for colon cancer.
* * *Return of the manifestations of a disease after an interval of improvement. SYN: recurrence (2). [L. re-labor, pp. -lapsus, to slide back]
* * *re·lapse ri-'laps, 'rē-. n a recurrence of illness esp a recurrence of symptoms of a disease after a period of improvement <a \relapse after an 18-month remission (M. T. Fosburg )(et al)> compare RECRUDESCENCEre·lapse ri-'laps vi, re·lapsed; re·laps·ing to slip or fall back into a former worse state (as of illness) after a change for the better <the patient relapsed twice in four years>
* * *n.a return of disease symptoms after recovery had apparently been achieved or the worsening of an apparently recovering patient's condition during the course of an illness.
* * *re·lapse (reґlaps) (rə-lapsґ) [L. relapsus, past part. of relabi to fall back] the return of a disease after its apparent cessation. Cf. recrudescence.
Medical dictionary. 2011.