You are on page 1of 2

pathophysiology Inflammation occurs in 3 distinct phases—acute, subacute, and chronic (or proliferative).

The acute response to tissue injury occurs in the microcirculation at the site of injury. Initially there is a transient constriction of arterioles; however, within several minutes, chemical mediators released at the site cause relaxation of arteriolar smooth muscle, vasodilation, and increased capillary permeability. Protein-rich fluid then exudes from capillaries into the interstitial space. This fluid contains many of the components of plasma, including fibrinogen, kinins, complement, and immunoglobulins that mediate the inflammatory response. The subacute phase is characterized by movement of phagocytic cells to the site of injury. In response to adhesion molecules released from activated endothelial cells, leukocytes, platelets, and RBC in injured vessels become sticky and adhere to the endothelial cell surfaces. Polymorphonuclear leukocytes such as neutrophils are the first cells to infiltrate the site of injury. Basophils and eosinophils are more prevalent in allergic reactions or parasitic infections. As the inflammatory process continues, macrophages predominate, actively removing damaged cells or tissue. If the cause of injury is eliminated, acute inflammation may be followed by a period of tissue repair. Blood clots are removed by fibrinolysis, and damaged tissues are regenerated or replaced with fibroblasts, collagen, or endothelial cells. However, inflammation may become chronic, leading to further tissue destruction and fibrosis.

Process of acute inflammation

Micrograph showing acute inflammation of the prostate gland with the characteristicneutrophilic infiltrate. H&E stain.

The process of acute inflammation is initiated by cells already present in all tissues, mainly resident macrophages, dendritic cells, histiocytes, Kupffer cells and mastocytes. These cells present on their surfaces certain receptors named pattern recognition receptors (PRRs), which recognize molecules that are broadly shared by pathogens but distinguishable from host molecules, collectively referred to as pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs). At the onset of an infection, burn, or other injuries, these cells undergo activation (one of their PRRs recognize a PAMP) and release inflammatory mediatorsresponsible for the clinical signs of inflammation. Vasodilation and its resulting increased blood flow causes the redness (rubor) and increased heat (calor). Increased permeability of the blood vessels results in an exudation (leakage) of plasma proteins and fluid into the tissue (edema), which manifests itself as swelling (tumor). Some of the released mediators such as bradykinin increase the sensitivity to pain (hyperalgesia, dolor). The mediator molecules also alter the blood vessels to permit the migration of leukocytes, mainly neutrophils, outside of the blood vessels (extravasation) into the tissue. The neutrophils migrate along a chemotactic gradient created by the local cells to reach the site of [5] injury. The loss of function (functio laesa) is probably the result of a neurological reflex in response to pain.

The acute inflammatory response requires constant stimulation to be sustained. Hence.g. acute inflammation ceases once the [5] stimulus has been removed.In addition to cell-derived mediators. Inflammatory mediators have short half lives and are quickly degraded in the tissue. These include the complement system activated by bacteria. . a burn or a trauma. e. and the coagulation and fibrinolysis [5] systems activated bynecrosis. several acellular biochemical cascade systems consisting of preformed plasma proteins act in parallel to initiate and propagate the inflammatory response.