Difference Between Necrosis and Apoptosis:PharmD

Necrosis vs. Apoptosis
Unless you are in the medical field, necrosis and apoptosis can seem like fancy words for a disease that you may never get. Think again. Both of these infections are on a cellular level and are common among people with various diseases and injuries. Apoptosis and necrosis are related to the death of otherwise healthy cells, either by internal causes or external causes. Someone who suffers either at a grand scale level can even die if they are not treated by a physician soon enough.

Apoptosis is the planned cell death within organisms that are multi-cellular. These cellular changes are done to the advantage of the organism, and do not involve any cellular trauma or damage to the organism. Some of the ways that apoptosis occurs includes cell shrinkage, nuclear fragmentation, condensation of the chromatin in the cell and fragmentation of the DNA chromosomes. The changes which cause apoptosis are all biochemical and involve the morphology and death of cells within certain organisms. The death of a cell can occur in many fashions. The first is that the cell contents leak out and cause inflammation of the tissues in the surrounding area. They can also swell by themselves, which can lead to an eruption or a slow leak of cell contents. Patients who have AIDS or are HIV positive will have cells that suffer from apoptosis in random areas throughout their body. 

Necrosis is different from apoptosis in that the cell has not lived out its life. There is an outside cause for the reason that the cell has died. Necrosis is the death of cells and living tissue from something that has attacked the cellular ability to complete mitosis. Toxic elements, infections, and trauma are often linked to necrosis occurring in patients most frequently. Unlike the cells that undergo apoptosis, cells that succumb to necrosis are not supposed to die, which could have a larger and more deadly effect on the patient. Phagocytes are not able to engulf the cell that is dead, therefore dead tissue and cell debris build around the area where the first cell was located. This can mean amputation of an arm or leg, or death if the necrosis occurs in the torso near vital organs of the body.

While apoptosis and necrosis are two very different problems for the cells of humans, they are no laughing matter and should be taken very seriously.

1. Apoptosis and necrosis are both involved in the death of cells. Apoptosis cells are damaged by a planned death, these cells are expected to die for some reason. A necrosis cell is suddenly killed by an outside source.
2. Apoptosis cells can shrink or fragment into pieces. Necrosis cells can leak out or even rupture.
3. Apoptosis is common in patients who suffer from AIDS or are HIV positive. Necrosis is often seen in patients who have cancer, or even those who have been bitten by a poisonous insect or reptile.