Idiopathic is a medical term which is used to describe a condition which has no known cause. When a patient’s case is described as idiopathic, it means that the doctor does not know what caused the condition. This can be problematic, since sometimes identifying the cause of a condition is part of the process of finding an appropriate treatment. Idiopathic conditions can also be very frustrating for medical personnel, as lack of understanding about a cause makes it hard to prevent recurrence of the condition or future cases in other patients.
The term comes from the Greek words idios, or “one’s own,” and pathos, or suffering
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