Inflammation is the complex pathophysiologic response of vascularized tissue to injury. The injury may result from various stimuli including thermal, chemical, or physical damage; ischemia; infectious agents; antigen-antibody interactions; and other biologic processes. After tissue injury, the process of tissue healing includes 3 distinct phases: an inflammatory phase, a repair phase, and a remodeling phase. The desired outcome of the inflammatory response is isolation and elimination of the injurious agent in order to prepare for the repair of tissue damage at the site of injury and restoration of function. Finally, new tissue formed during the repair phase (eg, scar tissue) may be remodeled over several months.
Last full review/revision March 2012 by Pierre-Louis Toutain, DVM, PhD, DECVPT