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Medical Term:


Pronunciation: ne-kro'sis

Definition: Pathologic death of one or more cells, or of a portion of tissue or organ, resulting from irreversible damage; earliest irreversible changes are mitochondrial, consisting of swelling and granular calcium deposits seen by electron microscopy; most frequent visible alterations are nuclear: pyknosis, shrunken and abnormally dark basophilic staining; karyolysis, swollen and abnormally pale basophilic staining; or karyorrhexis, rupture, and fragmentation of the nucleus. After such changes, the outlines of individual cells are indistinct, and affected cells may merge, sometimes forming a focus of coarsely granular, amorphous, or hyaline material.

[G. nekrosis, death, fr. nekroo, to make dead]

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