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(ăt`rəfē), diminution in the size of a cell, tissue, or organ from its fully developed normal size. Temporary atrophy may occur in muscles that are not used, as when a limb is encased in a plaster cast. Interference with cellular nutrition, as through starvation; diseases affecting the nerve supply of tissues, e.g., poliomyelitis and muscular dystrophy; and prolonged disuse may cause a permanent wasting away of tissue. Atrophy may also follow hypertrophyhypertrophy
, enlargement of a tissue or organ of the body resulting from an increase in the size of its cells. Such growth accompanies an increase in the functioning of the tissue. In normal physiology the growth in size of muscles (e.g.
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the decrease in the size of an organ or tissue of the living organism of animals and man, accompanied by a disorder or cessation of functions. Atrophy is the result of a predominance of dissimilation over the processes of assimilation.

Atrophy can be physiological and pathological, systemic and local. Physiological atrophy is a function of the growth changes of an organism (atrophy of the thymus during puberty, atrophy of the sex glands, skin, and bones in old people, and so on). General pathological atrophy (emaciation, cachexia) appears in cases of insufficient nutrition, chronic infection or intoxication, or disorders of the endocrine glands or of the central nervous system. Local pathological atrophy arises from various causes—from a disorder in the regulation of the trophic nerves (for example, atrophy of the skeletal muscles during poliomyelitis), from insufficient supply of blood (for example, atrophy of the brain cortex during atherosclerosis of the blood vessels of the brain); dysfunctional atrophy (for example, atrophy of the optic nerve after removal of an eye), as a result of pressure (for example, atrophy of the kidney in cases of embolism of the urether and accumulation of urine in the renal pelvis), from lack of use (for example, atrophy of the muscles in the extremities after long immobilization), or from the effects of physiological and chemical factors (for example, atrophy of the lymphoid tissue from the effects of solar energy, atrophy of the thyroid gland upon application of iodine preparations).

When an organ atrophies it diminishes in size but subsequently sometimes appears larger as a result of the expansion of fat tissue which replaces the atrophied cellular elements. Pathological atrophy is, up to a certain stage, a reversible process. Treatment consists of the elimination of the causes producing atrophy.


Strukov, A. I. Patologicheskaia anatomiia. Moscow, 1967.
Cameron, G. R. Pathology of the Cell. Edinburgh, 1952.



Diminution in the size of a cell, tissue, or organ that was once fully developed and of normal size.


a wasting away of an organ or part, or a failure to grow to normal size as the result of disease, faulty nutrition, etc.
References in periodicals archive ?
PPMA at 25[degrees]C had almost the same minimum compressibility value as at 10[degrees]C.
Former Chairman PPMA, Zahid Saeed stressed the need to make the association stronger and vowed to press the government for resolving issues faced by the pharmaceutical industry including price raise and registration of medicines.
com To learn more about the PPMA and its events, contact President Ted Rake at (814) 427-2311; Boyd Wachob, (814) 427-2311; Kevin Miller, (814) 583-7850 or Dave Daugherty, e-mail: docsez@usachoice.
5 with those of PPMA found that the number of nucleated bubbles in PPCN7.
We have on the PPMA executive committee representation of the Foreign Pharmaceutical Manufacturers as well.
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On this occasion, Chairman PPMA Ehtesham Uddin highlighted exhibition features and informed the exhibition is divided into two halls one is for raw material producers from middle east, France, China, Oman and Taiwan while second hall is dedicated for machinery manufacturers from Korea, China, Malaysia, Taiwan etc.
Khan said that as a member of PPMA Family MNC's should behave like Elder Brothers and should not HARM their younger brothers by manufacturing Metoo products.
It requires to be revised immediately in consultation with PPMA.
As far as pharmaceutical exports are concern, I still recall that PPMA approached me about an year back with a long list of demands on the matters related to export and we held series of meeting with DRAP and Alhamdulillah these issue has been resolved.
Addressing a press conference here, Chaudhry Ansar Farooq, Malik Arshad and Arshad Mehmood Awan from PPMA asked the government to resolve this matter in accordance with the Drugs Act.
Speaking at a press conference here last week the Central Chairman of PPMA Hamid Raza, along with other office-bearers of the association, said that it was high time the Section-12 of Drugs' Act-1976 should be either removed or least be amended not only for the very survival, continuity, and growth of the local pharmaceutical industry but also for safeguarding basic interests of the ailing citizens.