Acute Inflammation

The Rx Bricks Podcast
The Rx Bricks Podcast
Acute Inflammation

Have you ever cut your finger, bumped your head, or fallen and scraped your knee? While you were cursing your clumsiness or bad luck, your body got straight to work healing the injury, relying on the wondrous process of acute inflammation. Shortly after your injury, you most likely experienced some or all of the cardinal signs of acute inflammation: pain (dolor), redness (rubor), heat (calor), and swelling (tumor).

There are two types of inflammation: acute and chronic. Acute inflammation is an essential part of the body’s defense system and generally lasts a few days. Chronic inflammation (discussed in detail in another brick) involves an ongoing low-level inflammation that lasts for weeks, months, or even years. Unlike acute inflammation, chronic inflammation is not beneficial; it leads to tissue damage and is linked to the development of many types of chronic disease, including diabetes, cancer, and a range of autoimmune disorders.

After listening to this AudioBrick, you should be able to:

  • Describe the three roles of inflammation.
  • Identify the cells of innate immunity involved in acute inflammation and the timeline of when each cell type is involved.
  • Describe the four reactions of blood vessels in acute inflammation.
  • Describe leukocyte recruitment to sites of inflammation.
  • Explain how these processes result in the general clinical manifestations of acute inflammation.
  • Provide specific examples of acute inflammation.
  • Describe the utility of acute-phase reactants as a marker of inflammation: erythrocyte sedimentation rate, C-reactive protein, ferritin, fibrinogen (all increased with inflammation—positive markers).

You can also check out the original brick on Acute Inflammation from our General Pathology collection, which is available for free.

Learn more about Rx Bricks by signing up for a free USMLE-Rx account:

You will get 5 days of full access to our Rx360+ program, including nearly 800 Rx Bricks.  After the 5-day period, you will still be able to access over 150 free bricks, including the entire collections for General Microbiology and Cellular and Molecular Biology.


If you enjoyed this episode, we’d love for you to leave a review on Apple Podcasts.  It helps with our visibility, and the more med students (or future med students) listen to the podcast, the more we can provide to the future physicians of the world.

Follow USMLE-Rx at:

Learn how you can access over 150 of our bricks for FREE: