False-positive test result

A false-positive test result is one that appears to detect a disease or condition when in fact it is not present. A false-positive test result may thus suggest that a person has the disease or condition when he or she does not.

For example, a false-positive pregnancy test result would be one that appears to detect the substance (human chorionic gonadotropin) that would confirm pregnancy, when in reality the woman is not pregnant.

Last Updated: June 9, 2009

Author: Maria Essig

Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine

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