Also found in: Medical, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to protopathic: protopathic sensibility, Protopathic Pain


Sensing pain, pressure, heat, or cold in a nonspecific manner, usually without localizing the stimulus. Used especially of certain sensory nerves.

[From Medieval Greek prōtopathēs, affected first, from Greek prōtopathein, to feel first : prōto-, proto- + pathos, experience, feeling.]

pro·top′a·thy (-tŏp′ə-thē) n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. (Physiology) of or relating to a sensory nerve that perceives only coarse stimuli, such as pain
2. (Physiology) of or relating to such perception
[C20: from proto- + Greek pathos suffering, disease + -ic]
protopathy n
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˌproʊ təˈpæθ ɪk)

of or pertaining to neurons that sense only general areas of pain, heat, or cold.
pro•top•a•thy (prəˈtɒp ə θi) n.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
This is due to the fact that dietary data collected at the time of disease ascertainment might not truly reflect past intakes or intakes during the disease development and cases might have changed their diets due to the disease symptoms (protopathic bias).
They used 6 months as the a priori cut-off because a previous study that specifically addressed the issue of protopathic bias showed that this was the most appropriate lag time to be used for assessing the association between PPI and gastric cancer risk (8).
Superficial sensation is either fine or discriminative (epicritic) or gross (protopathic).
The similarity in these two cases is that both patients suffered abdominal operations more than once, and also both protopathic and previous incision hernia repair operations were open surgery and used anti-adhesion meshes.
The perceived association between incretin drugs and cancer risk, therefore, may be due to "protopathic" or "reverse causation" bias, Ms.
Proprioceptive and protopathic sensitivity started to reappear at postoperative month 3 and further improved during the first postoperative year, reaching expected levels.
If T2DM is diagnosed at a later stage (protopathic bias), the individual could have lost weight as a result of a hypercatabolic state.