Medical Specialties: Family practice, Internal medicine

Clinical Definition

Asymptomatic is a medical term used to describe an individual who is a carrier of an infection or a disease, but is clinically silent or not experiencing symptoms. Asymptomatic conditions may cause a delay in the diagnosis of said infection or disease. Being asymptomatic does not indicate the seriousness of a condition. 

In Our Own Words

Asymptomatic means a person has an illness or medical condition, but is not experiencing any symptoms. An individual may be asymptomatic during the early stages of an illness or disease. Symptoms can also decrease during the course of an illness, causing someone to become asymptomatic.


However, it is important to note that being asymptomatic does not necessarily mean the condition is minor or harmless. 

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  • Harvard Health Publications. “Medical Dictionary of Health Terms: A-C.” Accessed October 2013.
  • Tortora G., Derrickson B. “Principles of Anatomy and Physiology, 13th Edition.” John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 2011. Accessed October 2013.
  • Scottsdale Healthcare. “Asymptomatic Conditions.” Accessed October 2013.
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