Exudate(redirected from cotton-wool spot)
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fluid exuded by small blood vessels during an inflammation that contains protein, leukocytes, erythrocytes, minerals, cellular elements and, frequently, the microbes that caused the inflammation. Any inflammation may give rise to an exudate, which will saturate the surrounding tissues or collect in the body cavities. By compressing the surrounding organs and tissues an exudate may interfere with their function. An exudate helps to spread the infection when it escapes into the tissues from the focus of inflammation. There are serous, purulent, bloody, and fibrinous exudates, depending on the dominant elements. If treated promptly and correctly, an exudate is completely resorbed without leaving any changes after it. An exudate must be distinguished from edematous fluid (transudate), which collects in the body cavities and tissue interstices following the development of an edema.