inflammationmedical dictionary

<pathology> A localised protective response elicited by injury or destruction of tissues, which serves to destroy, dilute or wall off (sequester) both the injurious agent and the injured tissue.

It is characterised in the acute form by the classical signs of pain (dolor), heat (calor), redness (rubor), swelling (tumour) and loss of function (functio laesa).

Histologically, it involves a complex series of events, including dilatation of arterioles, capillaries and venules, with increased permeability and blood flow, exudation of fluids, including plasma proteins and leucocytic migration into the inflammatory focus.

Origin: L. Inflammatio, inflammare = to set on fire

(11 Jun 1998)