Sequela (//; plural sequelæ or sequelae, Latin sequela, from sequi ("follow")) is a pathological condition resulting from a disease, injury, or other trauma. Typically, a sequela is a chronic condition that is a complication of an acute condition that begins during that acute condition. This is in contrast to a late effect.
Examples and uses
Chronic kidney disease, for example, is sometimes a sequela of diabetes, and neck pain is a common sequela of whiplash or other trauma to the cervical vertebrae. Post-traumatic stress disorder may be a psychological sequela of rape. Sequelae of traumatic brain injury include headache and dizziness, anxiety, apathy, depression, aggression, cognitive impairments, personality changes, mania, psychosis.
Other examples of sequelae include those following neurological injury; including aphasia, ataxia, hemi- and quadriplegia, and any number of other changes that may be caused by neurological trauma. Note that these pathologies can be related to both physical and chemical traumas, as both can cause lingering neuron damage.
The phrase status post, abbreviated in writing as s/p, is used to discuss sequelae with reference to their cause. Clinicians typically use the phrase to refer to acute traumatic conditions. For example: "the patient had neck pain status post a motor vehicle accident".
- Traumatic causes of Tempormandibular Joints Disorder (dysfunction)
- James A Lindsey, Chronic Sequelae of Foodborne Disease, Emerging Infectious Disease, Vol 3, No 4, 1997.
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