II. What causes inflammation?

Generally most of the agents that can cause cell injury and necrosis can also cause inflammation. Here are some major causative agents: 

1. Biological agents

  • Infectious agents, e.g. viral, bacterial, fungal organisms, etc.
  • Necrotic tissue, e.g. post-myocardial infarction – inflammatory response to dead cardiomyocytes

2. Chemical agents

Toxins, poisons

3. Physical agents

e.g. heat, cold, radiation, foreign bodies like suture material

4. Immune reactions

There can be abnormal inflammatory responses to normal tissue (e.g. autoimmune diseases) or foreign tissue (e.g. allergens like pollen)

Usually seen in chronic inflammation

Here is a table listing some causes of inflammation:

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