Acute Inflammatory Response

In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan.


Inflammation is part of the innate defense mechanism of the body against infectious or non-infectious etiologies. This mechanism is non-specific and immediate. There are five fundamental signs of inflammation that include: heat (calor), redness (rubor), swelling (tumor), pain (dolor), and loss of function (functio laesa). Inflammation can divide into three types based on the time of the process that responds to the injurious cause; acute which occurs immediately after injury and lasts for few days, chronic inflammation that may last for months or even years when acute inflammation fails to settle, and subacute which is a transformational period from acute to chronic which lasts from 2 to 6 weeks.

Acute inflammation starts after a specific injury that will cause soluble mediators like cytokines, acute phase proteins, and chemokines to promote the migration of neutrophils and macrophages to the area of inflammation. These cells are part of natural innate immunity that can take an active role in acute inflammation. If this inflammation does not resolve after six weeks, this will cause the acute inflammation to develop from subacute to the chronic form of inflammation with the migration of T lymphocytes and plasma cells to the site of inflammation. If this persists with no recovery, then tissue damage and fibrosis will ensue. Other varieties of cells, such as macrophages and monocytes, play a role in both acute and chronic inflammation. In this article, we will discuss "acute inflammation."

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