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(1) In medicine, the complete closure of a hollow or tubular organ as a result of proliferation of tissue—usually connective tissue—from the organ’s walls. Obliteration usually results from an inflammation; more rarely, from the proliferation of a tumor. Obliteration can produce serious disorders, for example, endarteritis obliterans. Retention cysts, such as atheromas, can develop from the obliteration of certain ducts, including glandular ducts. Complete obliteration of the oviducts leads to sterility. Obliteration can also be a healthy sign or condition. For example, obliteration of the pleural cavity in pleurisy is an indication of healing, and obliteration of the vaginal process of the peritoneum occurs in the normal course of development.
(2) In botany, the normal flattening of cells and tissues. The intercellular and intracellular cavities of a plant can be filled because of obliteration. Examples of the disappearance of internal cavities because of obliteration can be found in the membranes of some fruits, in the tissues of a developing embryo, and in a plant stem that is growing thicker.