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Localized death of tissue that is caused by obstructed inflow of arterial blood. Also known as infarction.



a focus of organ or tissue necrosis resulting from an interruption of the blood supply to the area. The direct causes of infarcts are thrombosis, embolism, or spasm of the arteries feeding this tissue. Hypoxia is a decisive factor in the development of the tissue changes associated with an infarct.

There are three types: white, or ischemic, infarct, which is a zone of necrosis lacking in blood; red, or hemorrhagic, infarct, in which the zone of necrosis is saturated with excessive blood; and ischemic infarct with a hemorrhagic zone. The first and third types of infarct are generally formed in the heart, kidneys, and spleen, and the second in the lungs and intestine. An infarct may be conical (kidney, lungs) or irregular (heart, brain) in shape. Its consistency varies with the nature of the necrosis, which may be dry (myocardial infarct) or moist (cerebral infarct).

Infarcts cause profound changes in the organs affected. The dead areas are resorbed or organized, resulting in the formation of a cyst (in the brain) or a scar (in the heart muscle), or they may suppurate and liquefy (septic infarct). The size, location, and properties of an infarct determine whether the affected organ becomes weakened or loses its functions.


References in periodicals archive ?
Splenic infarct, splenic rupture and organ failure are uncommon complications.
Mechanisms and clinical features of posterior border-zone infarcts.
On further analysis, multiple cortical infarcts, or a single subcortical macroscopic infarct, were related to a higher global parkinsonian score, the investigators said.
However, as far as we know, no study has evaluated the contribution of the prone position to the determination of the severity and extent of infarct in patients with inferior Ml.
Data were normally distributed for patient age and the interval between stroke onset and lumbar puncture, whereas the NIHSS score on admission, the infarct volume, and the CSF concentrations of biomarkers were not normally distributed (Kolmogorov-Smirnov test).
Two of the 4 patients with clinically silent infarcts (cases 13 and 22) had previous electrocardiograms consistent with healed myocardial infarction.
Huang Z, Huang PL, Ma J, Meng W, Ayata C, Fishman MC, Moskowitz MA (1996) Elarged Infarcts in Endothelial Nitric Oxide Synthase Knockout Mice are Attenuated by Nitro-L-arginine.
Silent brain infarcts and white matter lesions are seen in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies of otherwise healthy elderly individuals and are associated with increased risk of stroke and dementia.
The differential diagnosis of the case presented here was confounded by the patient's young age (previously reported dirofilarial infarcts were exclusively in adults) and the history of a high-risk lifestyle and weight loss, information that proved extraneous.
Possible associations with Paget' s disease or bone infarcts have also been described.