Syndrome - Syndromes and Associated Conditions

Syndromes and Associated Conditions

The description of a syndrome usually includes a number of essential characteristics, which when concurrent lead to the diagnosis of the condition. Frequently these are classified as a combination of typical major symptoms and signs—essential to the diagnosis—together with minor findings, some or all of which may be absent. A formal description may specify the minimum number of major and minor findings respectively, that are required for the diagnosis.

In contrast to the major and minor findings typical of the syndrome, there may be an association with other conditions, meaning that in persons with the specified syndrome these associated conditions occur more frequently than would be expected by chance. While the syndrome and the associated conditions may be statistically related, they do not have a clear cause and effect relationship, i.e., there is likely to be a separate underlying problem or risk factor that explains the association. An example would be Down syndrome, which has the associated condition of diabetes mellitus. A knowledge of associated conditions would dictate that they are specifically looked for in the management of the syndrome.

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