Types of inflammation

Inflammation is a vital homeostatic process that is triggered by cellular injury, regardless of how the harm occurs. Although cellular mediators generated during inflammation can trigger systemic reactions, inflammation is mostly a local phenomenon. The most severe kind of inflammatory reaction, systemic inflammatory response syndrome, can be fatal in severely ill patients. Sepsis is a syndrome that almost often arises in the context of a systemic infection.

Types of inflammation
Types of inflammation

Types of inflammation

Depending upon the defense capacity of the host and duration of response, inflammation can be classified as acute or chronic.

Acute inflammation:

Acute inflammation is of short duration and represents the early body reaction and is usually followed by healing.

Examples of diseases, conditions and situations that can result in acute inflammation include:

  • Acute bronchitis
  • Sore throat from a cold or flu
  • A scratch/cut on the skin
  • Acute appendicitis
  • Acute dermatitis
  • Acute tonsillitis
  • Acute infective meningitis
  • Acute sinusitis

Chronic inflammation

Chronic inflammation is of a longer duration and occurs either after the causative agents of acute inflammation persists for a long time or the stimulus that induces chronic inflammation from the beginning.

The characteristic features of chronic inflammation are the presence of chronic inflammatory cells such as lymphocytes, plasma cells, and macrophages.

Macrophages (phagocytic cells) are derived from a monocyte, walls of blood vessels, and loose connective tissue. They interact with lymphocytes to facilitate antibody production.

Examples of diseases and conditions with chronic inflammation include:

  • Asthma
  • Chronic peptic ulcer
  • Tuberculosis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Chronic periodontitis
  • Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease
  • Chronic sinusitis
  • Chronic active hepatitis.
Acute InflammationChronic Inflammation
Harmful bacteria or injury to tissue.Non-degradable pathogens that
cause persistent inflammation
infection with some types of viruses,
persistent foreign bodies, overactive
immune system reactions.
Major cells
Mainly neutrophils, basophils (in
the inflammatory response), and
eosinophil (response to parasites
and worms), and mononuclear
cells (macrophages, monocytes).
Macrophages, lymphocytes, plasma
cells (these three are mononuclear
cells), and fibroblasts.
Eicosanoids, vasoactive amines.Reactive oxygen species, hydrolytic
enzymes, IFN-γ, and other cytokines,
growth factors.
Short-lived, only for a few days.
The inflammation either gets
better (resolution), develops into
an abscess, or becomes a chronic
From several months to years the
destruction of tissue, thickening and
scarring of connective tissue
(fibrosis), death of cells or tissue
Fever, leukocytosis, lymphangitis
(inflammation of lymph node),
Fever, anemia, leukocytosis, increases
ESR, Amyoidosis.
Comparison between acute and chronic inflammation
Also Read: Etiology of Inflammation

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