Acute Inflammation Essay

1605 words - 6 pages

Inflammation which is part of the innate immune system is a process by which the body reacts to injury protecting it from infection and foreign substances with the help of the body’s white blood cells “Inflammation can be defined as the body’s local vascular and cellular response to injury caused by factors that invade and injure the body from the outside (exogenous factors) or factors within the body that result in cellular or tissue injury (endogenous) factors” (Battle, 2009, P 238). Factors such as bacteria, viruses, burns, frostbite, chemical irritants, immune reactions and physical injury are examples of factors that can cause inflammation through different mechanisms. It is a protective mechanism with rapid response that neutralizes or destroys agents that causes injury and creates a barrier that limit the injury and prevents its spread to normal tissues (Battle, 2009). Also, it has elements that removes debris and heals the wound generated by the injury. It can be divided into acute and chronic inflammation.

Acute inflammatory is the initial response of the body following an injury “Acute inflammation is short term and can be measured in hours or days” (Battle, 2009, P 238). This response is achieved through the release of leukocyte and plasma into the injured tissues. The predominant cells in acute inflammation are neutrophils. This inflammatory response involves the local vascular and immune system within the tissue. There are five cardinal signs signifying acute inflammation: 1) warm and 2) redness due to increased blood flow to the injured tissue and dilation of capillaries and arterioles; 3) pain due to reduced blood flow; 4) swelling due to accumulation of fluid; and, 5) loss of function which has multiple causes (Battle, 2009).
There are two main processes responsible for acute inflammation, vascular and cellular processes. Vascular response is the initial response that is due to dilation of arterioles supplying the injured tissue. This leads to increase blood flow to the injured area of the tissue “The increased blood flow and dilation of vessels is caused by relaxation of vascular smooth muscle, particularly in pre-capillary arterioles” (Battle, 2009, P 238). This dilation of arterioles leads to increased permeability allowing fluid and proteins into the interstitial space. There are factors that mediate this response. Factors mediating this vascular response include histamine, nitric oxide, cytokines and bradykinin. Cellular response involves movement of leukocyte into the inflamed tissue to aid in inflammation through the process of phagocytosis which releases enzymes and proteases that are capable of destroying most bacteria “The second phase of the acute inflammatory response is marked by the accumulation of cellular exudates of neutrophils...

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