I. What is inflammation?

Definition of INFLAMMATION:

Inflammation is a response of vascularised tissues to infection and damaged tissues that brings cells and molecules of host defence from the circulation to the sites where they are needed, in order to eliminate the offending agents.

(Robbins and Cotran’s Pathologic Basis of Disease, 9th Edition, 2015)

Let’s break this down:

  • Response of vascularised tissue – tissues need to be living (i.e. vascularised): vessels and blood components are key players
  • …to infection and damaged tissues… – some of the causes of inflammation
  • …from the circulation… – key events start from within the blood vessels (that’s where the cells and chemical mediators come from)
  • …to the sites… – cells travel to the site of injury – think about how they do that
  • …to eliminate… – this is the ultimate goal of inflammation: to get rid of the agent that is causing injury, as well as the dead tissue that accumulated during the event

Big picture mindmap

If you can’t play the video, watch it here on YouTube: https://youtu.be/N9NhucExl9E

In summary:

  • Inflammation is a protective mechanism
  • It leads to healing of tissues

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