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Acute inflammation: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment : Pathology

May 04, 2023

Acute inflammation: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment : Pathology

A physical injury, chemical irritant, or microbe (bacteria, virus, etc.) can cause acute inflammation in your body. Immune cells are activated by the body to treat injury and/or get rid of the invader.

White blood cells called neutrophils are the first immune cells to react during an acute inflammatory response. T cells react to neutrophils by releasing pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines. Additional immune cells are activated by cytokines.

As a sort of defence, your body starts the acute inflammatory response. The acute inflammatory response, though, might harm your body if it becomes out of control. Up to six weeks may pass between acute inflammatory symptoms.

To learn more about this crucial subject for pathology study and to ace your NEET PG exam preparation, continue reading this blog.

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What Are The Events of Acute Inflammation?

Vascular events

The vessels which show this are arterioles, capillaries and venules. 

  1. Vasoconstriction
    • First event
    • Transient event (lasting for few seconds)
    • Reflex
  2. Vasodilation
    • Increased Redness (Rubor)
    • Increased Temperature (Calor) 
    • Mediators of the event are Histamine & Serotonin
  3. Increased Vascular Permeability
    • Every blood vessel is lined by endothelial cells. They are positive for CD 34. The fluids (Plasma, plasma proteins, WBCs) exudate, which results in Swelling (Tumor).
  4. Stasis
    • When plasma comes out from blood vessels, the RBCs become concentrated. In other words, Viscosity is increased.
    • This results in sluggish blood flow.

Hallmark event of Acute Inflammation  Increased Vascular Permeability (most commonly seen in Post Capillary Venules).


  1. Endothelial Gap Formation (Most common Mechanism): There is endothelial cell contraction and retraction. Immediate transient reaction (Starts and ends immediately). The mediators are Histamine and Serotonin. 
  2. Direct Endothelial Injury: Delayed Prolonged Response (Start is delayed and end is also delayed). Second, it can be immediate and have a sustained response. Example: Delayed Sunburn (Delayed prolonged response) or Sepsis (Immediate, Sustained Response). 
  3. Leukocyte Mediated Injury: WBCs damage the endothelial cells, and it occurs by releasing enzymes. 
  4. Transcytosis: It goes through the cell by a tunnel formation of V-V Organelle (Vesicular Vacuolar Organ). Mediators are Histamine & VEGF. 
  5. Angiogenesis: Immature new blood vessels are formed that are known as Leaky Channels. Mediators are Histamine & VEGF. 


Acute inflammation may result from a variety of conditions and infections, such as:

  • A sore throat brought on by a cold or the flu
  •  An ingrown toenail
  • Other ailments ending in "-itis" physical harm or wound.

What Are the signs of Acute inflammation?

Acute inflammation symptoms vary depending on the person and the triggering factor.

  • Skin that itches and is reddened
  • Sensitivity or pain
  • Swelling Heat
  • Decline in function
  • Acute inflammation's root causes

Both internal and environmental factors can contribute to acute inflammation

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Acute inflammation's root causes

Both internal and environmental factors can contribute to acute inflammation


  • A physical harm
  • Fragmented cells


(Viruses produce virulence factors to aid in bodily invasion.)

Allergens Toxic substances.

Following tissue damage, acute inflammation starts within seconds to minutes. There are four essential characteristics that define it (Latin terms in brackets):

  • Due to vasodilation and increased blood flow, there is redness (rubor).
  • Heat (calor) is a localized elevation of temperature that is also caused by an increase in blood flow.
  • Increased vascular permeability causes swelling (tumour), which allows fluid to leak into the interstitial space.
  • Dolor (pain) is a sensation that results from mechanical and chemical mediators stimulating the local nerve endings.

Also Read: Cell Injury and Cell Death

Henoch- Schonlein Purpura : Causes, Symptoms, Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, Treatment and Prognosis

Trisomy 18: Causes, Symptoms, Types, Diagnosis, Treatment and Prevention : Pathology

What Is The Treatment  Of Acute Inflammation?

The cause of inflammation may be treated, the symptoms may be managed, or both, according to a doctor's prescription.

They might suggest antibiotics or an antifungal treatment, for instance, if you have a bacterial or fungal infection.

Here are some remedies that target inflammation specifically:

  • Medications that are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs) can reduce pain, swelling, fever, and other symptoms, but they cannot treat the underlying cause of inflammation. They accomplish this by blocking an enzyme that fuels inflammation.
  • Naproxen, ibuprofen, and aspirin are a few NSAIDs. These are available for purchase both offline and online. To be sure they make the appropriate decision, they should first see a doctor or chemist.
  • NSAIDs should only be used for a prolonged period of time if a doctor advises them because they may have negative.
  • Acetaminophen, which is found in paracetamol or Tylenol, can alleviate pain but not inflammation. The inflammation can continue to aid in healing thanks to these medications.

Also Read: Amyloidosis: Types, Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Risk Factors, Treatment


A class of steroid hormones are corticosteroids, which include cortisol. They have an impact on different inflammation-related pathways.

Several conditions, including the following, can be managed with corticosteroids:

  • Asthma allergic responses dermatitis inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) systemic lupus hepatitis arthritis temporal arteritis.
  • They come in the form of pills, injections, inhalers, creams, and ointments.
  • Corticosteroid use over a long period of time may be dangerous. On their advantages and risks, a doctor can provide advice.

The condition will determine how a disease with chronic inflammation is treated.

Some medications work to suppress the body's immune responses. These can aid in reducing the signs and symptoms of psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, and other autoimmune reactions. However, if an infection does arise, they may also make a person's body less able to fight it.

Immunosuppressant medications are also necessary for those who have undergone organ transplant surgery in order to stop their bodies from rejecting the new organ. They too must exercise particular caution to prevent contracting illnesses.

This is everything that you need to know about acute inflammation  for your pathology preparation. For more interesting and informative blog posts like this download the PrepLadder App and keep reading our blog!

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