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 Revised: May 10, 2013

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Thomas M. Bailey, MD - Family Medicine

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