Pathology dictionary

Necrotizing granulomatous inflammation

What does necrotizing granulomatous inflammation mean?

Necrotizing granulomatous inflammation is a term pathologists use to describe a pattern of chronic (long-standing) inflammation. A granuloma is a small, round collection of specialized immune cells that stick together to both surround and remove a harmful agent from the body. The immune cells in a granuloma include lymphocytes, histiocytes, and multi-nucleated giant cells. The histiocytes in a granuloma are described as “epithelioid” because they stick together in a way that is similar to epithelial cells. Necrotizing refers to dead cells seen at the centre of the granuloma. In contrast, a non-necrotizing granuloma has no dead cells at its centre.

Necrotizing granulomatous inflammation

Necrotizing granulomas are notable because they are more likely to be present in infections, such as tuberculosis or fungal infections. As a result, your pathologist may order additional special stains such as a silver stain or acid-fast stain to look for infectious organisms. Necrotizing granulomas may also be seen in some types of vasculitis.

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