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The pathogenesis (from ancient Greek πάθος páthos , German 'suffering (shank), addiction, pathos' and γένεσις, génesis "origin, creation, birth"), formerly also pathogeny , describes the origin and development of a disease with all the factors involved. These factors also include the observation of the course of the disease , especially in terms of causation.

Pathomechanism describes the course of a disease process that can be recorded using scientific methods. The term stands for the causal chain of body processes that lead to an illness. Pathomechanisms can u. a. play at cell level, organ level or between organ systems. The causes of a disease are specifically dealt with by the etiology .

Causal and Formal Pathogenesis

A distinction is made between the causal and the formal pathogenesis. The causal pathogenesis describes the connection between noxious agents , cause of illness and disposition and thus - in short - the predisposition of the individual to become ill. Formal pathogenesis treats the functional and structural disease processes in the individual like changes in organs and their function in the course of a disease.

Illustrated using the example of a flu-like infection: The virus is the etiology. The overall situation in which the individual finds himself prior to contact with the virus is the causal pathogenesis . The inflammatory processes are part of the formal pathogenesis .

The formal pathogenesis asks how diseases arise, so the how, the causal pathogenesis , however, why. The problem of formal pathogenesis for the pathologist is that the disease progresses in time, but the scientific perspective always includes the current moment. The pathologist is forced to reconstruct the course of the disease from a series of snapshots.

Psychosocial factors

The psychosomatic or personalistic medicine is in the development of diseases in addition to biological reinforced psychosocial factors to the fore. In general, she understands pathogenesis to be the emergence of ailments caused by the limitation of the individual's ability to act . The aim of this approach is to gain an understanding of the function of biopsychic regulatory processes and to promote the patient's own compensation skills.

See also


  • Heinrich Schipperges (Ed.): Pathogenesis. Fundamentals and perspectives of a theoretical pathology. Berlin / Heidelberg / New York / Tokyo 1985.

Individual evidence

  1. Christoph Wilhelm Hufeland : Ideas about pathogeny and influence of life force on the development and form of diseases - as an introduction to pathological lectures. Jena 1795.
  2. pathogenesis . In: Norbert Boss (Ed.): Roche Lexicon Medicine . 2nd Edition. Hoffmann-La Roche AG and Urban & Schwarzenberg, Munich 1987, ISBN 3-541-13191-8 ; P. 1319,
  3. ^ Entry on pathomechanism in Flexikon , a wiki from DocCheck , accessed on June 13, 2018.
  4. ^ W. Sandritter, G. Beneke: Allgemeine Pathologie. Textbook for students and doctors. FK Schattauer, Stuttgart / New York 1981, ISBN 3-7945-0771-1 , p. 10
  5. W. Rotter: Textbook of Pathology. Vol. 1, FK Schattauer, Stuttgart / New York 1985, ISBN 3-7945-1000-3 , p. 4 f.