Cardinal signs of inflammation

Here are the 5 Cardinal signs of inflammation

Based on visual observation, the ancients classified inflammation as five Cardinal signs of inflammation, as below

  1. Swelling ( tumor )
  2. Warmth/ heat ( calor ) – only applicable to the body extremities
  3. Erythema/ redness ( rubor )
  4. Pain/Tenderness ( dolor )
  5. Loss of function ( functio laesa )
  • The first four of these signs were named by Celsus in ancient Rome (30–38 B.C.)
  • The last sign named by Galen (A.D 130–200)
  • More recently, inflammation was described as “the succession of changes which occurs in a living tissue when it is injured provided that the injury is not of such a degree as to at once destroy its structure and vitality”, or “the reaction to injury of the living microcirculation and related tissues.
  • Although, in ancient times inflammation was recognised as being part of the healing process, up to the end of the 19th century, inflammation was viewed as being an undesirable response that was harmful to the host.
  • However, beginning with the work of Metchnikoff and others in the 19th century, the contribution of inflammation to the body’s defensive and healing process was recognised.
  • Furthermore, inflammation is considered the cornerstone of pathology in that the changes observed are indicative of injury and disease.


The Journal of Inflammation


Sign up to receive the trending updates and tons of Health Tips

Join SeekhealthZ and never miss the latest health information