In NTP studies, there are five standard categories of inflammation: acute, suppurative, chronic, chronic-active, and granulomatous; abscesses are diagnosed as suppurative inflammation. In acute inflammation (Figure 1 and Figure 2), the predominant infiltrating cell is the neutrophil, though fewer macrophages and lymphocytes may also be present. There may also be evidence of edema or hyperemia. The neutrophil is also the predominant infiltrating cell type in suppurative inflammation (Figure 3 and Figure 4), but the neutrophils are aggregated, and many of them are degenerate (suppurative exudate). Cell debris (both from the resident cell populations and from infiltrating leukocytes); proteinaceous fluid containing fibrin, fewer macrophages, occasional lymphocytes, and/or plasma cells; and possibly an infectious agent may also be present within the exudate. Grossly, these lesions would be characterized by the presence of pus. In the tissue surrounding the exudate, there may be fibroblasts, fibrous connective tissue, and mixed inflammatory cells, depending on the chronicity of the lesion. Lymphocytes predominate in chronic inflammation. Lymphocytes also predominate in chronic-active inflammation, but a significant number of neutrophils are also present (Figure 5 and Figure 6). Both lesions may contain macrophages. Granulomatous inflammation is another form of chronic inflammation, but this diagnosis requires the presence of a significant number of aggregated, large, activated macrophages, epithelioid macrophages, or multinucleated giant cells (Figure 7 and Figure 8).
Since inflammation can occur in response to, or result in, myofiber necrosis, myopathic changes in addition to edema and/or hemorrhage often occur concurrently. An inflammatory response is necessary to effectively repair damaged tissues; however, the nature, duration, and intensity of this response will crucially influence the overall outcome of repair.
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