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Flashcards in Pathological Processes: Overall Deck (22):

What can severe changes in the environment of a cell lead to?

Cell adaptation, injury or cell death


Degree of injury to cell following severe changes in environment depends on what?

–Type of injury
–Severity of injury
–Type of tissue


How is the cell injury response part of a continuum?

Stimulus: Physiological --> Harmful

Response: Homeostasis --> Cellular Adaptation --> Cellular Injury --> Cell death


What kind of things can cause cell
injury? (7)

• Hypoxia
• Toxins
• Physical agents
• Radiation
• Micro-organisms
• Immune mechanisms
• Dietary insufficiency and deficiencies, dietary excess


Give examples of physical agents that can cause cell injury (4)

– Direct trauma
– Extremes of temperature
– Changes in pressure
– Electric currents


What is hypoxia?

Deficiency in the amount of oxygen reaching the tissues


Define cyanosis

A bluish discoloration of the skin due to poor circulation or inadequate oxygenation of the blood


What does frostbite most commonly affect?

Fingers, nose, toes


What can frostbite often result in?



What is cellulitis?

Inflammation of skin (subcutaneous connective tissue)


How can the worsening/improving of cellulitis be tracked?

Draw around affected area


What is the difference between hypoxia and ischaemia? Which is considered worse and why?

Hypoxia: Decreased oxygen supply
Ischaemia: Decreased blood supply

- Ischaemia deprives the cell of of oxygen but also many other things (e.g. sugars) that could impact metabolic processes.


What are the four main causes of hypoxia?

– Hypoxaemic hypoxia – arterial content of oxygen is low
• Reduced inspired p02
at altitude
• Reduced absorption secondary to lung disease

– Anaemic hypoxia – decreased ability of haemoglobin to carry oxygen
• Anaemia
• Carbon monoxide poisoning

– Ischaemic hypoxia - interruption to blood supply
• Blockage of a vessel
• Heart failure

– Histiocytic hypoxia – inability to utilise oxygen in cells due to disabled
oxidative phosphorylation enzymes
• Cyanide poisoning


Difference in sensitivity to hypoxia: brain vs skin

Neurones = few minutes
Fibroblasts = few hours


What is urticaria?



How does the immune system damage the
body’s cells? (2)

• Hypersensitivity reactions - host tissue is
injured secondary to an overly vigorous
immune reaction, e.g., urticaria (= hives)
• Autoimmune reactions - immune system fails
to distinguish self from non-self, e.g., Grave’s
disease of thyroid.


Which cell components are most
susceptible to injury? (4)

- Membranes
- Nucleus
- Proteins
- Mitochondria


Why can different insults result in the same damage?

Sequence of events for other insults may be different
but as the cell has a limited responses to injury,
outcome often similar.


Two types of injury that damage membranes primarily

- Extreme cold (e.g. frostbite)
- Free radicals


- What is a free radical?
- What else is it often to referred to as?
- Comment on its reactivity.

- Single unpaired electron in an outer orbit
- Reactive oxygen species
- High reactivity: an unstable configuration hence react with other molecules, often producing further free radicals


What are the three free radicals that are of particular biological significance in cells?

- OH• (hydroxyl): the most dangerous
- O2 (superoxide)
- H2O2 (hydrogen peroxide)


What are the three free radicals that are of particular biological significance in cells?

- OH• (hydroxyl): the most dangerous
- O2- (superoxide)
- H2O2 (hydrogen peroxide)