the first step in determining the cause of any medical condition is to ask if it could be congenital or not. if it is not congenital, it is by definition, acquired.
this is especially important in the paediatric setting and pretty much doesn't apply for any new problems in geriatric patients.
Describes something which was acquired while the individual was still developing in the uterus. For example a congenital defect is a defect that is not found in the individual's genes but developed for some other reason while the individual was a fetus. See teratogen.
From the BioTech Dictionary at http://biotech.icmb.utexas.edu/. For further information see the BioTech homenode.
Con*gen"i*tal (?), a. [From Congenite.]
Existing at, or dating from, birth; pertaining to one from birth; born with one; connate; constitutinal; natural; as, a congenital deformity. See Connate.
© Webster 1913.
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