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German: Entzündung

1 Definition

Inflammation is the local or systemic reaction of a biological system to an interior or exterior stimulus that endangers physiological processes. The function of inflammation is to eliminate the harmful stimulus and establish the preconditions necessary for repair procedures ("healing"). This means that inflammation is a manifestation of an organism's immune reaction.

Inflammation is a complex process which is regulated by immunocompetent cells, antibodies, inflammatory mediators and several other factors.

see also: acute-phase reaction

2 Nomenclature

Inflammation of a specific organ or tissues is usually systematically signalized by the use of the suffix "-itis" after the Greek name of the organ. For example:

3 Categories

3.1 ... according to the development of the disease

3.2 ... according to its spread

3.3 ... according to its specificity

3.4 ... according to macroscopic aspects

3.5 ... according to histological aspects

4 Symptoms

The five classical local signs of inflammation are (according to Galen):

Besides those local signs of inflammation there can occur general reactions of the body, according to the severity of the inflammation. Those general signs include:

4.1 Laboratory analysis

Laboratory medicine uses, amongst others, the following parameters to determine inflammatory processes:


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