Functio laesa

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]

Functio laesa is a term used in medicine to refer to a loss of function[1][2] or a disturbance of function.[3]

It was identified as the fifth sign of acute inflammation by Galen,[4] who added it to the four signs identified by Celsus (tumor, rubor, calor, and dolor).

The attribution to Galen is not undisputed.[3] Origination of the phrase has also been ascribed to Thomas Sydenham[5] and Rudolf Virchow.[6]


  1. Dorlands Medical Dictionary:cardinal signs.
  2. Definition: functio laesa from Online Medical Dictionary.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Rather LJ (March 1971). "Disturbance of function (functio laesa): The legendary fifth cardinal sign of inflammation, added by Galen to the four cardinal signs of Celsus". Bull N Y Acad Med 47 (3): 303–22. PMID 5276838.
  4. Porth, Carol (2007). Essentials of pahtophysiology: concepts of altered health states. Hagerstown, MD: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 270. ISBN 0-7817-7087-4. 
  5. Dormandy, Thomas (2006). The worst of evils: man's fight against pain. New Haven, Conn: Yale University Press, 22. ISBN 0-300-11322-6. 
  6. David Lowell Strayer; Raphael Rubin (2007). Rubin's Pathology: Clinicopathologic Foundations of Medicine 5th Edition. Hagerstown, MD: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 37. ISBN 0-7817-9516-8. 

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