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Movement of cellular elements

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

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The most important cells in acute inflammation are leukocytes. These need to pass from the blood to the site of activity across the endothelium; they do so in overlapping stages:

  • margination
  • adhesion
  • passage across vessel wall
  • chemotaxis

The type of leukocyte in transit depends on the stage of inflammation and the stimulus:

  • usually, polymorphonuclear neutrophils predominate in the first 24 hours disappearing by 36 hours
  • monocytes become more frequent after 24 hours and may stay at the site of inflammation for long periods
  • viral infections may promote lymphocyte transit initially
  • some hypersensitivity reactions promote initial movement of eosinophilic cells

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