Systemic means affecting the entire body, rather than a single organ or body part.
For example, systemic disorders, such as high blood pressure, or systemic diseases, such as influenza (the flu), affect the entire body.
An infection that is in the bloodstream is called a systemic infection.
An infection that affects only one body part or organ is called a localized infection.
Taber's Medical Dictionary Online website. www.tabers.com/tabersonline. Accessed March 15, 2023.BACK TO TOP
Review Date: 2/2/2023
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Clinical Professor, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David C. Dugdale, MD, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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