AskDefine | Define purulence

Dictionary Definition



1 symptom of being purulent (containing or forming pus) [syn: purulency]
2 a fluid product of inflammation [syn: pus, suppuration, ichor, sanies, festering]

User Contributed Dictionary





  1. The condition of containing or discharging pus.
  2. Pus.

Extensive Definition

Pus is a whitish-yellow or yellow substance produced during inflammatory responses of the body that can be found in regions of pyogenic bacterial infections. An accumulation of pus in an enclosed tissue space is known as an abscess. A visible collection of pus within or beneath the epidermis, on the other hand, is known as a pustule or pimple. Pus is produced from the dead and living cells which travel into the intercellular spaces around the affected cells.
Something that creates pus is called suppurative, pyogenic, or purulent. If it creates mucus as well as pus, it is called mucopurulent.
Pus consists of a thin, protein-rich fluid, known as liquor puris, and dead cells, which are part of the body's innate immune response. Neutrophils are produced in the bone marrow and released into the blood. When the need to fight infection arises, they move to the site of infection by a process known as chemotaxis, usually triggered by cytokines released from macrophages that sense invading organisms. At the site of infection, they engulf and kill bacteria. Eventually, the neutrophils die, and these dead cells are then phagocytosed by macrophages, which break them down further. Pus, therefore, is the viscous material composed of these dead neutrophils.
Neutrophils are the most abundant type of leukocyte in human blood, comprising anywhere between 40% to 75% of leukocytes.
When seen in a wound or dry skin, pus indicates the area is infected and should be cleaned with antiseptic.
Despite normally being of a whitish-yellow hue, changes in the color of pus can be observed under certain circumstances. Pus is sometimes green because of the presence of myeloperoxidase, an intensely green antibacterial protein produced by some types of white blood cells. Blue pus is found in certain infections of Pseudomonas aeruginosa as a result of the pyocyanin bacterial pigment it produces; amoebic abscesses of the liver, meanwhile, produce brownish pus. Pus might have a reddish tint to it after mixing with blood. Pus can also have a foul odor.
purulence in Arabic: قيح
purulence in Catalan: Pus
purulence in Czech: Hnis
purulence in Danish: Materie
purulence in German: Eiter
purulence in Esperanto: Puso
purulence in Spanish: Pus
purulence in Estonian: Mäda
purulence in French: Pus
purulence in Hebrew: מוגלה
purulence in Italian: Pus
purulence in Japanese: 膿
purulence in Latin: Pus
purulence in Malay (macrolanguage): Nanah
purulence in Dutch: Pus
purulence in Polish: Ropa (medycyna)
purulence in Portuguese: Pus
purulence in Russian: Гной
purulence in Swedish: Var (medicin)
purulence in Tagalog: Nana
purulence in Turkish: İrin
purulence in Chinese: 膿

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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