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An exudate is any fluid that filters from the circulatory system into lesions or areas of inflammation. It can apply to plants as well as animals. Its composition varies but generally includes water and the dissolved solutes of the main circulatory fluid such as sap or blood. In the case of blood: it will contain some or all plasma proteins, white blood cells, platelets and (in the case of local vascular damage) red blood cells. In plants it can be a healing and defensive response to repel insect attack or it can be an offensive habit (to repel other incompatible or competitive plants).

Contents

Etymology

Exudate is derived from exude, "to ooze,"[1] from the Latin exsūdāre, "to (ooze) out like sweat" (ex- "out" and sūdāre "to sweat").[2]

Types

  • Pus is an example of exudate found in infected wounds that also includes bacteria and high concentrations of white blood cells. Clear blister fluid is an example of an exudate that contains water (and solutes) together with some plasma proteins, but not many blood cells.
  • Fibrinous exudate is composed mainly of fibrinogen and fibrin. It is characteristic of rheumatic carditis, but is seen in all severe injuries such as strep throat and bacterial pneumonia. Fibrinous inflammation is often difficult to resolve due to the fact that blood vessels grow into the exudate and fill the space that was occupied by fibrin. Often, large amounts of antibiotics are necessary for resolution.
  • Catarrhal exudate is seen in the nose and throat and is characterized by a high content of mucus.
  • Serous transudate is usually seen in mild inflammation, with little protein content. Its consistency resembles that of serum, and can usually be seen in certain disease states like tuberculosis. (See below for difference between transudate and exudate)

Exudates vs. transudates

There is an important distinction between transudates and exudates. Transudates are caused by disturbances of hydrostatic or colloid osmotic pressure, not by inflammation. Medical distinction between transudates and exudates is through the measurement of the specific gravity of extracted fluid. Specific gravity is used to measure the protein content of the fluid. The higher the specific gravity, the greater the likelihood of capillary permeability changes in relation to body cavities. For example, the specific gravity of the transudate is usually less than 1.012 and a protein content of less than 2 gm/100mL (2 gm%). Rivalta test may be used to differentiate an exudate from a transudate. It is not clear if there is a distinction in the difference of transudates and exudates in plants.

See also

References

  1. ^ ""Exuded" Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary". Meriam Webster. 2008. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exuded. Retrieved 2008-07-04.  
  2. ^ Robert K. Barnhart, ed (1988). Chambers Dictionary of Etymology. New York: Chambers Harrap Publishers. pp. 363. ISBN 0-550-14230-4.  
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