Inflammation or what we see and feel. With inflammation we dive into the murky turbulent currents of the stream of science.The complexity and dynamics of the phenomenon make it hard to grasp and place in time. Before jumping into the currents’ jungle trying to find a path through the thicket I want to start a definition of the inflammation we are all familiar with, it is the acute inflammation.


When we talk about inflammation, we usually have an acute localized visible process in front of our eyes. What we see is the redness and the swelling, what we feel is the heat and the pain, and what bothers us is the loss of function.

This inflammatory process begins with an injury, an incident that disrupts the integrity of a tissue, let’s assume the skin.


What happens is, that capillaries burst, fluid leaks, cells and soluble molecules access the tissue, substances enter the area that usually don’t reside in the injured tissue. They unfold their activity and cause what we are used to call inflammation.
They enter the area for healing purposes. Healing is the process which sustains the integrity of our body and finally of our lives, and is deeply rooted in the inflammation. Inflammation can have many faces. About these faces we are going to talk in our next mini lectures.

The deconstruction of the vessel walls in the area of inflammation allows the cells to sneak through.

The inflamed tissue gets watery, swollen and cells are crowding in the area of the injury. Immune cells like phagocytes invade the area for cleaning purposes.  The pict is a composition of a rusty pan with oily spots and asphalt flowers on a Viennese road.

Acute inflammation is locally restricted. The end point is healing. Once healing occurs, the problem is solved and the process is complete. We feel well again. 

Every biological classification, however, has its limits and so it is with the definition of inflammation. Between the extreme forms of acute and chronic inflammation, there are all kinds of stages in between.

Infections, for instance, are acute inflammations, but frequently present as illnesses. The body temperature is raised. We run a fever and suffer from headaches, tiredness, loss of appetite, aching limbs, back pain and insomnia.
This is then compounded by the specific symptoms of the virus. All of the above phenomena are generated by the signalling molecules of the immune system (interleukins). On the whole, we feel weak and our performance is impaired accordingly as the immune system assigns all available energy to the healing process.

The cell changes form and migrates through the vessel wall. Asphalt flowers are beautiful creatures, easily they mimic the biological process.