Definition: term for inflammatory process that is most frequently seen in the respiratory tract, but may occur in any mucous membrane, and is characterized by hyperemia of the mucosal vessels, edema of the interstitial tissue, enlargement of the secretory epithelial cells (which proliferate and form conspicuous globules of mucus), and an irregular layer of viscous, mucinous material on the surface; as exudation progresses, variable numbers of neutrophils migrate into the affected tissue and are included in the exudate, along with fragments of degenerated and necrotic epithelial cells; such an inflammation may frequently become mucopurulent.
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