cavern(redirected from caverning)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical.
a cavity that develops in body organs where there is destruction and death (necrosis) of tissues and subsequent liquefaction of the necrotic masses.
Caverns may be closed, not communicating with the external environment, or open, when contents of the cavern empty to the outside through natural channels. Caverns appear most often at the site of a purulent necrotic process or specific inflammation in the lungs (cavernous tuberculosis), kidneys (an abscess that opens into the renal pelvis), or liver (a suppurative node of Echinococcus that empties into the biliary tract). The presence of a cavern fosters the spread of the pathological process and the development of complications (hemorrhage, perforation).