AskDefine | Define suppuration

Dictionary Definition



1 (medicine) the formation of morbific matter in an abscess or a vesicle and the discharge of pus [syn: festering, maturation]
2 a fluid product of inflammation [syn: pus, purulence, ichor, sanies, festering]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. Decay in tissue producing pus, or the pus itself.

Extensive Definition

Pus is a whitish-yellow or yellow substance produced during inflammatory responses of the body that can be found in regions of pyogenic bacterial infections. An accumulation of pus in an enclosed tissue space is known as an abscess. A visible collection of pus within or beneath the epidermis, on the other hand, is known as a pustule or pimple. Pus is produced from the dead and living cells which travel into the intercellular spaces around the affected cells.
Something that creates pus is called suppurative, pyogenic, or purulent. If it creates mucus as well as pus, it is called mucopurulent.
Pus consists of a thin, protein-rich fluid, known as liquor puris, and dead cells, which are part of the body's innate immune response. Neutrophils are produced in the bone marrow and released into the blood. When the need to fight infection arises, they move to the site of infection by a process known as chemotaxis, usually triggered by cytokines released from macrophages that sense invading organisms. At the site of infection, they engulf and kill bacteria. Eventually, the neutrophils die, and these dead cells are then phagocytosed by macrophages, which break them down further. Pus, therefore, is the viscous material composed of these dead neutrophils.
Neutrophils are the most abundant type of leukocyte in human blood, comprising anywhere between 40% to 75% of leukocytes.
When seen in a wound or dry skin, pus indicates the area is infected and should be cleaned with antiseptic.
Despite normally being of a whitish-yellow hue, changes in the color of pus can be observed under certain circumstances. Pus is sometimes green because of the presence of myeloperoxidase, an intensely green antibacterial protein produced by some types of white blood cells. Blue pus is found in certain infections of Pseudomonas aeruginosa as a result of the pyocyanin bacterial pigment it produces; amoebic abscesses of the liver, meanwhile, produce brownish pus. Pus might have a reddish tint to it after mixing with blood. Pus can also have a foul odor.
suppuration in Arabic: قيح
suppuration in Catalan: Pus
suppuration in Czech: Hnis
suppuration in Danish: Materie
suppuration in German: Eiter
suppuration in Esperanto: Puso
suppuration in Spanish: Pus
suppuration in Estonian: Mäda
suppuration in French: Pus
suppuration in Hebrew: מוגלה
suppuration in Italian: Pus
suppuration in Japanese: 膿
suppuration in Latin: Pus
suppuration in Malay (macrolanguage): Nanah
suppuration in Dutch: Pus
suppuration in Polish: Ropa (medycyna)
suppuration in Portuguese: Pus
suppuration in Russian: Гной
suppuration in Swedish: Var (medicin)
suppuration in Tagalog: Nana
suppuration in Turkish: İrin
suppuration in Chinese: 膿
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