Skip to Content
Medical Term:


Pronunciation: li'sis


  1. Destruction of red blood cells, bacteria, and other structures by a specific lysin, usually referred to by the structure destroyed (hemolysis, bacteriolysis, nephrolysis); may be due to a direct toxin or an immune mechanism, such as antibody reacting with antigen on the surface of a target cell, usually by binding and activation of a series of proteins in the blood with enzymatic activity (complement system).
  2. Gradual subsidence of the symptoms of an acute disease, a form of the recovery process, as distinguished from crisis.

[G. dissolution or loosening]

© Copyright 2016 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review Date: Sep 19, 2016.