Fibrosis is the production of excessive amounts of connective tissue, i.e., scar formation, in the course of reactive and reparative processes. Fibrosis develops as a consequence of various underlying diseases and presents a major diagnostically and therapeutically unsolved problem. In this review, we postulate that fibrosis is always a sequela of inflammatory processes and that the many different causes of fibrosis all channel into the same final stereotypical pathways. During the inflammatory phase, both innate and adaptive immune mechanisms are operative. This concept is exemplified by fibrotic diseases that develop as a consequence of tissue damage, primary inflammatory diseases, fibrotic alterations induced by foreign body implants, "spontaneous" fibrosis, and tumor-associated fibrotic changes.