In NTP studies, there are five standard categories of inflammation: acute, suppurative, chronic, chronic-active, and granulomatous. 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, however, in suppurative inflammation, the neutrophils are aggregated and many of them are degenerate (suppurative exudate). Cell debris, both from the resident cell populations and infiltrating leukocytes, proteinaceous fluid containing fibrin, fewer macrophages, occasional lymphocytes or plasma cells, and, possibly, an infectious agent may also be present in 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 (Figure 3 and Figure 4), but in chronic-active inflammation, there are also a significant number of neutrophils. 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. Inflammation is differentiated from cellular infiltrates by the presence of other changes, such as edema, hemorrhage, degeneration, necrosis, or other evidence of tissue damage.
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