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Cardiovascular Health

What is vascular response to inflammation?


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October 02, 2015 8:58PM

The vascular system is the first system to respond to an injury. First there is vasoconstriction of vessel walls of the arterioles. This is followed closely by vasodilation (widening) of the capillaries. When the walls widen directly after constriction, there is a rush of oxygenated blood through the network of capillaries throughout the body. This rush of blood flow causes 3 of the 5 cardinal signs of inflammation: heat (blood is warm), redness (oxygenated blood is red in color), and swelling (tissues are suddenly filled with blood). This rush of blood flow to the area of damage (even something as small as a papercut) is crucial to proper healing because the blood stream contains important healing agents, such as: platelets (clotting), multiple types of white blood cells (rid the body of bacteria and debris), and multiple nutrients and vitamins that are essential for cell repair and regrowth.