by Jason Wasserman MD PhD FRCPC
July 14, 2022

What does necrosis mean?

Necrosis is an uncontrolled type of cell death that happens before the end of the natural life span of the cell. Pathologists use the word necrotic to describe a large area of tissue that has died by way of necrosis. Another common type of cell death is called apoptosis.


What causes necrosis?

Anything that injures a cell can cause it to die by necrosis. The most common causes are exposure to a toxin, infection, loss of blood flow, and trauma. Cancer cells that divide quickly can also die of necrosis.

What are the types of necrosis?

Common types of necrosis include tumour necrosis, ischemic necrosis, comedonecrosis, gangrenous necrosis, fibrinoid necrosis, and fat necrosis. A pattern of necrosis called necrotizing granulomatous inflammation can also be seen in granulomas.

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