Inflammation is a non specific defensive response of the body to tissue injury; includes dilation of blood vessels and an increase in vessel permeability; indicated by redness, heat, swelling, and pain. The inflammatory response in tissues can be induced in a number of ways eg infection, surgical trauma, effects of radiation and exposure to irritants such as smoke and chemotherapy.
The body has many techniques for protecting itself from uninvited "guests" or injury. Intact mechanical barriers such as the skin and mucosae, the ciliary activity of epithelial cells lining the respiratory tract, and a strong acid (chemical barrier) produced by stomach glands represent 3 defences exerted at the body's external boundaries. When tissue injury occurs these barriers are penetrated; this stimulates the body's inflammatory and immune responses, which wage their battles largely in the connective tissues of the body.
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