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A Brief History of Inflammation

  • M. Rochae E Silva
Part of the Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology book series (HEP, volume 50 / 1)

Abstract

Though there are records of pus formation in Egyptian papyri dating from the 2nd millenium B.C. (Encyclopaedia Britannica 1970), the first coherent description of the phenomenon was presented by Celsus, a Roman physician of the 1 st century A.D., who described the classic signs of inflammation: rubor (redness), tumor (swelling), with calor (heat) and dolor (pain). However, formation of pus with heat, redness and pain are characteristic of the phenomenon as it develops in the highest phyla of the animal kingdom. It seems the term inflammation (phlogosis, in Greek) from the Latin word flamma for fire, was intended to cover the most complex manifestations of the phenomenon, as it occurs in man, as a defence mechanism against aggression or injury. Under this connotation, the phenomenon was recognized by Galen (3rd century, A.D.) as a reaction of the body against injury, as well as by John Hunter (1794), an English doctor of the 18th century. An interesting wealth of historical information about that period can be found in the series of papers by Jarcho (1970–1972).

Keywords

Vascular Permeability Histamine Release Antiinflammatory Therapy Anaphylactic Shock Chemical Mediator 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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  • M. Rochae E Silva

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