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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 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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