Difference Between Etiology and Pathology

A person who belongs to a science background can easily differentiate between these two scientific terms, etiology and pathology. However, if the same is preached to several other people, then it becomes a headache.

Although these two terms are very closely related, they have only one major difference. Both the terms etiology and pathology are scientific and related to diseases.

Scientists and doctors also use etiology and pathology to refer to a specific disease. These terms are almost synonymous and are thus used most of the time interchangeably.

Etiology vs Pathology

The main difference between etiology and pathology is that etiology describes the processes associated with the initial stages of an injury or disease. Whereas pathology describes the processes associated with the final stages of an injury or disease. Etiology is concerned with the prevention and cause of diseases, but pathology is concerned with the symptoms and cure of the diseases.

Etiology vs Pathology

Etiology is categorized as the study regarding the cause of the diseases. It is also known as aetiology.

Pathology is categorized as the detailed study of symptoms of various diseases. It is the latter process of study of disease.

Comparison Table Between Etiology and Pathology

Parameters of ComparisonEtiologyPathology
StageFormer process of study.The latter process of study.
FieldStudy regarding the cause of the diseases.Detailed study of symptoms of various diseases.
Also known asAetiologyPathogenesis
Discoverer/ Important person associatedRobert Koch’s discovered the process of etiology.Rudolph Virchow is known as the father of pathology.
TypesIdiopathic, Extrinsic, Intrinsic.Molecular pathology, clinical pathology, anatomical pathology.
ConsequenceAssociated with the initial stages of an injury.Associated with the final stages of an injury.
ImportanceImportant in the prevention of the occurrence of diseasesImportant for the cure of diseases.

What is Etiology?

A cause or a set of causes of an injury, disease of the condition is referred to as etiology. It also refers to the manner of causation of an injury.

Its work is the prevention of the occurrence of several diseases as well. The meaning of the word etiology is to give a reason for something.

What is Pathology?

Detailed research and study of the effects and symptoms of disease, injury, or health condition are called pathology. The process of pathology also incorporates a variety of medical practices and biology research fields.

General pathology is concerned with the contemporary medical field. This field is concerned with medical specialties which are different but related to each other.

Main Differences Between Etiology and Pathology

  1. Etiology is the former process of study, whereas pathology is the latter process of study of disease.
  2. Etiology is categorized as the study regarding the cause of the diseases. But pathology is categorized as the detailed study of symptoms of various diseases.
  3. Etiology is also known as aetiology, whereas pathology is also known as pathogenesis.
  4. Robert Koch’s discovered the process of etiology. Whereas Rudolph Virchow is known as the father of pathology.
  5. Etiology is of three types. Idiopathic, Extrinsic, Intrinsic. Whereas pathology is of three types, namely molecular pathology, clinical pathology, anatomical pathology.
  6. Etiology well describes the process associated with the initial stages of an injury or disease. Whereas pathology describes the process associated with the final stages of an injury or disease.
  7. Etiology is important in the prevention of the occurrence of diseases, but pathology is important for the cure of diseases.

Conclusion

The two scientific terms, “etiology” and “pathology,” deal with the detailed study of diseases. Although these are two similar terms but have major differences as well.

The etiology comes before the process of pathology comes into play in the study of disease. Aetiology studies the causes of health issues and risk factors as well.

After the process of detailed study regarding the cause of diseases finishes, the work of pathology emerges. Pathology studies the risk factors of a disease, progression of the disease, and the factors that trigger complete manifestation.

References

  1. https://www.hand.theclinics.com/article/S0749-0712(03)00079-9/abstract
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0140673601612637
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