False-negative test result

A false-negative test result is one that does not detect what is being tested even though it is present. A false-negative test result may thus suggest that a person does not have a disease or condition being tested for when in fact he or she does.

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