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A sequela (UK /sɨˈkwlə/,[1] US /sɨˈkwɛlə/;[2][3] usually used in the plural, sequelae) is a pathological condition resulting from a disease, injury, therapy, 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[edit]

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.

Some conditions may be diagnosed retrospectively from their sequelae. An example is pleurisy.

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".

Rheumatic fever is a nonsuppurative sequela of a primary infection of group A Streptococcus bacteria. Glomerulonephritis can also be a sequela of Streptococcus pyogenes.[4] [5]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ from Latin sequela, from sequi ("follow")
  4. ^ Todar, Kenneth. "Streptococcus pyogenes and Streptococcal Disease". Todar's Online Textbook of Bacteriology. Retrieved 3 February 2014. 
  5. ^ "Rheumatic fever". A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia. PubMed Health. 2012-05-30. Retrieved 3 February 2014. 

External links[edit]