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Acute

Acute means sudden or severe. Acute symptoms appear, change, or worsen rapidly. It is the opposite of chronic.

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Review Date: 10/10/2020

Reviewed By

Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

References

Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Acute. www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/acute. Accessed February 1, 2021.

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Acute vs. chronic conditions - Illustration Thumbnail

Acute vs. chronic conditions

Acute conditions are severe and sudden in onset. This could describe anything from a broken bone to an asthma attack. A chronic condition, by contrast is a long-developing syndrome, such as osteoporosis or asthma. Note that osteoporosis, a chronic condition, may cause a broken bone, an acute condition. An acute asthma attack occurs in the midst of the chronic disease of asthma. Acute conditions, such as a first asthma attack, may lead to a chronic syndrome if untreated.

Illustration

Ruptured intracranial aneurysm - Illustration Thumbnail

Ruptured intracranial aneurysm

A ruptured intracranial aneurysm causes intracranial bleeding and is considered very dangerous.

Illustration

Acute vs. chronic conditions - Illustration Thumbnail

Acute vs. chronic conditions

Acute conditions are severe and sudden in onset. This could describe anything from a broken bone to an asthma attack. A chronic condition, by contrast is a long-developing syndrome, such as osteoporosis or asthma. Note that osteoporosis, a chronic condition, may cause a broken bone, an acute condition. An acute asthma attack occurs in the midst of the chronic disease of asthma. Acute conditions, such as a first asthma attack, may lead to a chronic syndrome if untreated.

Illustration

Ruptured intracranial aneurysm - Illustration Thumbnail

Ruptured intracranial aneurysm

A ruptured intracranial aneurysm causes intracranial bleeding and is considered very dangerous.

Illustration

 
 
 
 

 

 
 

 
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