Inflammation – Definition, Causes and its types (What is Inflammation?)/ (What is acute and chronic Inflammation)



Topics Covered:

  • Definition of Inflammation

  • Causes of Inflammation

  • Types of Inflammation


“A localized protective response elicited by injury or destruction of tissues, which serves to destroy, dilute, or wall off both the injurious agent and the injured tissue.”

“It is defined as the process of reaction of living tissues to injury or irritation involving a series of vascular, cellular and chemical mediator events.”

Inflammation is a tissue reaction that rapidly delivers mediators of host defense , circulating cells and proteins to the locations where they are needed i.e at the sites of infection and tissue damage.

The aims and purposes of the inflammatory reaction are :

  1. To localize the foreign agent or the injury to its site of entry or development.
  2. To destroy the foreign agent or to remove its fragments and to clean the damage caused by an injury.
  3. To initiate regeneration of tissue that has been destroyed by injury.
  4. To repair the damage done and to fill up any gaps in the tissues by a scar.

Causes of inflammation

1.Biological agents

Living agents like micro-organisms, including bacteria, viruses, parasites, fungi.Non living agents including toxins, sera, animal stings, snake poisons.

2. Chemical agents

Any chemical may result in tissue damage and inflammation.

3. Physical agents

Fractures, soft tissue injuries, radiation damage, exposure to extremes of temperature like burns  radiation, and frostbite can damage tissues.

3. Inert bodies

Inert bodies like thorns, glass, stone, nails etc. can cause inflammation.

4. Another cause can be development of necrosis like infarct, thrombus or atheroma in an artery or tumor inside the body.


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