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Partial infarction of the liver due to closure of a branch of the portal vein.

An infarction is tissue destruction ( necrosis ) as a result of an insufficient supply of oxygen ( hypoxia ) due to insufficient blood flow ( ischemia ). The infarction is opposed to the infarction , in which primarily an obstacle to drainage is the reason for the hypoxia . Colloquially the heart attack is called infarct . The word infarct comes from the Latin verb infarcire ("to stuff into").

Infarct forms

Kidney infarction as an example of an anemic infarction

Anemic infarction

The closure of a (functional) end artery leads to anemic infarction. (Example: kidney infarction )

The most common cause of anemic infarct is the spread of a thrombus ( embolism ) into an arterial vessel . Since there are no or hardly any collateral vessels in anemic infarction , the resulting blood depletion ( ischemia ) leads to the appearance of a so-called "white infarction".

Hemorrhagic infarct

The closure of an artery, whose terminal area is also supplied by a collateral , leads to hemorrhagic infarction (example: pulmonary infarction )

Although the affected area is supplied with blood from at least one collateral, the insufficient blood flow results in an oxygen deficiency. This is followed by necrosis with destruction of the vascular endothelium . The resulting bleeding into the tissue leads to the typical red coloration ("red infarction").

Hemorrhagic Infarction

The closure of the venous outflow of a tissue area leads to hemorrhagic infarction (example: testicular torsion ).

Due to the lack of drainage, blood congestion develops in the corresponding tissue. Since no oxygenated blood can flow in, hypoxia develops with subsequent necrosis . Macroscopically , hemorrhagic infarction resembles hemorrhagic infarction .

The infarction due to an infected embolus is known as a "septic infarction".



  • Werner Böcker, Helmut Denk, Philipp U. Heitz (Hrsg.): Pathology. 3., completely redesigned. Edition. Urban & Fischer, Elsevier, Munich / Jena 2004, ISBN 3-437-42381-9 .

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