What is the medicine for pus


Synonym: pus
English: pus

1 definition

pus - or medical Pus - is a biological degradation product that occurs through tissue melting (autolysis) and the death of leukocytes that have migrated to an area of ​​inflammation.

The process of secretion of pus is called suppuration.

see also:Purulent inflammation

2 story

"Pus bonum et laudabile" ("The good, praiseworthy pus") was called the pus in classical medicine. This was based on the opinion that the creamy-yellow pus was important for wound healing, which was definitely correct for infected wounds before the discovery of antibiotics. The ancient Greek name for pus is πύον ("pyon").

3 pathophysiology

Pus is usually caused by an infection with bacteria. Pathogens that cause purulent infections are also known as pyogenic bacteria. In some cases, however, pus develops without the action of germs, e.g. in the context of pustular psoriasis.

Pus consists mostly of proteins and cell debris. It is a sign of the local melting of tissue under the influence of proteolytic enzymes, which are formed by the pathogens themselves and / or by the cellular immune defense, in particular the neutrophils.

4 properties

4.1 aspect

Pus can have a thin to creamy, viscous consistency. Its color and consistency depend on its chemical composition and the type of pus-producing bacteria. You can therefore give first indications of the pathogen. Yellow pus is found e.g. in Staphylococcus aureus, blue-green pus in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. A greenish color is also caused by the massive release of the iron-containing enzyme myeloperoxidase (MPO) produced by the granulocytes. If blood is mixed in, the color can change from pink to brown. Drusen are a typical sign of actinomycosis.

4.2 odor

Another important clinical criterion is the smell of the pus ("odorless", "sweet", "foul smelling"). A fetid odor usually indicates Escherichia coli or anaerobes.

5 clinical pictures

Pus plays a role in many clinical pictures. According to the type of localization of the pus, a rough distinction is made:

In addition, accumulations of pus in certain parts of the body often have their own names, e.g .:

Purulent skin lesions are called pustules.

6 clinic

An accumulation of pus can produce local compression and pain and become the starting point for a very unfavorable prognosis of sepsis. That is why the old tenet generally applies: "Ubi pus, ibi evacua" - "Where (is) pus, there empty (it)". The surgical repair of pus cavities by drainage and debridement or the excision of abscess cavities is therefore of great therapeutic importance. The administration of antibiotics alone is often not sufficient because they do not reach an effective concentration in the inflammation area.

7 Microbiological Diagnostics

Although pus is the typical sign of bacterial inflammation, it is poorly suited as sample material for microbiological diagnostics. Because the bacteria are broken down by granulocytes, pus is often sterile. It is better to take samples from the bottom or edge of the wound after the pus has been removed.