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  • Writer's pictureShruti GOCHHWAL

Coagulative Necrosis

Every living thing is made of cells. Sometimes, these body cells die and may or may not be replaced by regenerated cells. There are two different types of processes of cell death: Necrosis and Apoptosis.

Necrosis: What is it?

Necrosis is the Irreversible injury or death of the cell due to encounters with noxious stimuli that may include:

  1. Infectious pathogens like bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites

  2. Oxygen deprivation or hypoxia

  3. Environmental triggers like extreme heat, radiation, or UB rays exposure.

Some common types of necrosis include:

  1. Fibrinoid necrosis

  2. Coagulative Necrosis

  3. Fat necrosis

  4. Acute Tubular Necrosis

How is it different from Apoptosis?

Apoptosis is a cell death that could either be through a physiological or pathological whereas necrosis is mostly always associated with a pathological process.

This means that apoptosis is a more internally programmed cell death whereas necrosis is an uncontrollable cell death which is caused by external factors like trauma or infections.

What is Coagulative Necrosis?

As we also know that our blood is the most important part of your circulatory system. It has a couple of important functions.

They include:

  1. Forming blood clots

  2. RBCs that transfer essential oxygen throughout the body.

  3. Carry out or transfer essential nutrients throughout the body.

  4. WBCs are an important part of the immune system and help fight pathogens.

Now when blood does not flow or the flow of blood is reduced to certain parts of the body, there could be multiple complications taking place. One of them is coagulative necrosis.

Think of it as your one body as a whole individual- not receiving any food, water, or oxygen.

Coagulative necrosis is a condition of cell death which is caused by a lack of blood flow in that particular area. As a result, the cells will not receive the necessary oxygen and nutrients that are required for its functional and survival purposes and thus causing cell death.

It occurs through the body except for the brain but most commonly occurs in the heart, kidneys, and spleen.

What Causes Reduced Blood Flow?

There are various factors that can cause reduced blood flow to specific areas of the body.

Some of them include:

  1. Excessive cholesterol build-up that blocks the blood flow.

  2. Plaque: Excessive build-up of fat, cholesterol, calcium, and other substances inside the arteries.

  3. Other blockages are caused due to unhealthy lifestyle triggers like smoking, eating unhealthy, and lack of exercise

  4. Severe trauma, toxins, or an acute/ chronic immune response.

What Happens to the Cells?

Coagulative Necrosis is commonly followed by acute inflammation in which the architecture or shape of the underlying cell tissue is preserved for at least several days.

Thus in spite of the cell death and nucleus disappearing, the cell tissue and organ shapes will remain firm and structured due to the coagulation protein due to enzymatic degradation.

Eventually, leukocytes white blood cells are recruited to the site of necrosis and digest or engulf these dead cells by the process of phagocytosis.

Is Cell Regeneration Possible?

Despite cell death, there will be some structural remnant of necrotic tissue that remains. They start to replicate and replace the dead necrotic cells.

Such cells multiply constantly and undergo mitosis and help in replacing the affected tissue.

Finally, the fibroblast cell migrates to the affected area. It will synthesize the extracellular matrix and collagen and produce the structural framework for wound healing.

Thus, it deposits fibrous tissue causing fibrosis and scarring in that area where the cells cannot replicate.


Coagulative necrosis is a type of cell death that is caused due to lack of blood flow, nutrients, and oxygen delivered to the cell. However, for several days the cell tissue and organ shape or framework will still be preserved.

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