AskDefine | Define purulent

Dictionary Definition

purulent adj : having undergone infection; "a purulent wound" [syn: infected, pussy, putrid]

User Contributed Dictionary



purulentus, from pus, puris, pus, matter.


  1. In the context of "Medical": : Consisting of pus, or matter; partaking of the nature of pus; attended with suppuration; as, purulent inflammation.

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.
purulent in Arabic: قيح
purulent in Catalan: Pus
purulent in Czech: Hnis
purulent in Danish: Materie
purulent in German: Eiter
purulent in Esperanto: Puso
purulent in Spanish: Pus
purulent in Estonian: Mäda
purulent in French: Pus
purulent in Hebrew: מוגלה
purulent in Italian: Pus
purulent in Japanese: 膿
purulent in Latin: Pus
purulent in Malay (macrolanguage): Nanah
purulent in Dutch: Pus
purulent in Polish: Ropa (medycyna)
purulent in Portuguese: Pus
purulent in Russian: Гной
purulent in Swedish: Var (medicin)
purulent in Tagalog: Nana
purulent in Turkish: İrin
purulent in Chinese: 膿

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Privacy Policy, About Us, Terms and Conditions, Contact Us
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
Material from Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Dict
Valid HTML 4.01 Strict, Valid CSS Level 2.1