Inflammation

Inflammation is a biological response to harmful stimuli, such as pathogens, damaged cells or irradiation. It is a protective attempt by the organism to remove injurious stimuli and to initiate the healing process. It is characterized by pain, redness, heat, swelling and disturbance of function. In order to avoid immunopathology, this system is tightly regulated by a number of endogenous molecules that limit the magnitude and duration of the inflammatory response.

The Major signs of acute inflammation include pain, heat, redness, swelling, and loss of function. Inflammation is a generic response, considered as a mechanism of innate immunity, as compared to adaptive immunity, which is specific for each pathogen.

Too little inflammation could lead to progressive tissue destruction by the harmful stimulus (e.g. bacteria) and compromise the survival of the organism. In contrast, chronic inflammation may lead to a host of diseases, such as hay fever, periodontitis, atherosclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and even cancer (cancer Immunology). Inflammation is therefore normally closely regulated by the body.

Inflammation is not a synonym for infection. Infection describes the interaction between the action of microbial invasion and the reaction of the body's inflammatory defensive response — the two components are considered together when discussing an infection, and the word is used to imply a microbial invasive cause for the observed inflammatory reaction.

  • Process of acute inflammation
  • Cellular component
  • Morphologic patterns
  • Inflammatory disorders
  • Resolution of inflammation

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