Inflammation can further be defined as either acute or chronic inflammation. Although acute inflammation is necessary to rid the body of foreign pathogens, inflammation that progresses to chronic inflammation can be detrimental to the organism, damaging normal tissue and may even develop into cancer.

  Acute Chronic
Sources: Harmful bacteria and viruses, necrotic cells from a physical injury Persistent exposure to particular pathogens, certain viruses, tumor cells, auto-immunity, allergic responses to benign substances
Major Cells: Primarily monocytes/macrophages and neutrophils, but also mast cells and dendritic cells Plasma B cells, helper T cells, macrophages, fibroblasts
Duration: Days Months to years
Effect: Elimination of the source of cellular injury or pathogen. Minimal damage to healthy or unrelated tissue. Consistent damage to healthy cells, development of scar tissue