Purulent

Definition

adjective

Of, pertaining to, describing, associated with, or promoting purulence


Supplement

The term purulent is used to describe a condition of, or entity promoting, pus formation. It is frequently used as a synonym for suppurative. Both purulent and suppurative are used to describe pus formation. However, others employ purulent and suppurative in a more specific way: purulent is used to describe the pus forming in the affected area whereas suppurative is used to describe the pus oozing from the site of injury or infection.

A related term is purulence (also called purulency), which refers to the condition where pus forms at the affected area. It may also be used to call the exudate itself that is produced during a suppurative inflammation.

A purulent exudate is distinctively thicker than a serous exudate because of the presence of neutrophils, (dead and living) bacteria, and dead cell debris. A purulent exudate contained inside the tissue is called an abscess. The one that is visible as accumulated pus beneath the epidermis is called a pustule.

Inflammation that is accompanied by infection is referred to as purulent inflammation.


Word origin: Latin pūrulentus (pus)

Synonym(s):

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