A lesion is any abnormal tissue found on or in an organism, usually damaged by disease or trauma. "Lesion" is derived from the Latin word "laesio" which means "injury".

Causes of lesions

Lesions are caused by any process that damages tissues. A cancerous tumor is an example of a lesion, however the surrounding tissue damaged by a tumor is also a lesion. Trauma, including electrocution and chemical burns can also cause lesions. Certain diseases present lesions, for example the skin deformities caused by chicken pox. Lesions can also be caused by metabolic processes, like an ulcer or autoimmune activity, as in the case with many forms of arthritis.

Lesions are sometimes intentionally inflicted during neurosurgery, such as the carefully-placed brain lesion used to treat epilepsy and other brain disorders.

Note that lesions are not limited to animals or humans; damaged plants are said to have lesions.

Types of lesions

Because the definition of lesion is so broad, the varieties of lesions are virtually endless. They are subsequently classified by their features. If a lesion is caused by cancer it will be classified as "malignant" versus "benign". Lesions may be classified by the shape they form, as is the case with many ulcers, which can have a bullseye or 'target' appearance. Their size may be specified as "gross" or "histologic" depending on whether they are visible to the unaided eye or require a microscope to see.

An additional classification that is sometimes used is based on whether or not a lesion occupies space. A "space occupying lesion", as the name suggests, occupies space and may impinge on nearby structures, whereas a "non space occupying lesion" is simply a hole in the tissue, e.g. a small area of the brain that has turned to fluid following a stroke.

Some lesions have specialized names, like the "Gohn lesions" in the lungs of tuberculosis victims. The characteristic skin lesions of a varicella-zoster virus (VZV) infection are called "chickenpox". Lesions of the teeth are usually called dental caries.

Finally, lesions are often classified by their location. For example, compare a 'skin lesion' versus a 'brain lesion'.

ee also


External links

* [http://rad.usuhs.edu/rad/location/location_frame.html Brain Lesion Locator] Differential Diagnosis of Brain Lesions

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  • lésion — [ lezjɔ̃ ] n. f. • 1160; lat. læsio, de lædere « léser » 1 ♦ Dr. Atteinte portée aux intérêts de qqn. ⇒ dommage, préjudice, tort. Spécialt (dans un contrat) Préjudice matériel qui résulte, pour une partie exploitée par l autre partie, de l… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Lesion — Lésion Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Suivant les contextes, le terme lésion peut désigner différente choses : En médecine, une lésion désigne une partie d un organe se trouvant… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • lesión — f. patol. Alteración o daño producido en la estructura o función de un tejido u órgano. Medical Dictionary. 2011. lesión daño o …   Diccionario médico

  • lesion — Lesion. s. f. Tort, dommage qu on souffre en quelque transaction, en quelque marché. Il y a lesion d outre moitié de juste prix. il ne peut pas souffrir cette lesion sans s en plaindre. montrez moy en quoy il y a lesion, où est la lesion …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • lesion — le·sion / lē zhən/ n [Anglo French, damage, injury, from Latin laesio, from laedere to injure] in the civil law of Louisiana: loss from failure to receive a threshold amount or value (as one half market value) for immovable property conveyed or… …   Law dictionary

  • lesion — (n.) early 15c., from M.Fr. lesion, from L. laesionem (nom. laesio) injury, from pp. stem of laedere to strike, hurt, damage, of unknown origin. Originally with reference to any sort of hurt, whether physical or not …   Etymology dictionary

  • lesión — sustantivo femenino 1. Alteración de un tejido orgánico por una enfermedad o traumatismo: En la pelea sufrí lesiones de diversa consideración. La enfermedad le ha causado graves lesiones en los pies. 2. Daño o perjuicio en general: Las calumnias… …   Diccionario Salamanca de la Lengua Española

  • Lesion — Le sion (l[=e] zh[u^]n), n. [F. l[ e]sion, L. laesio, fr. laedere, laesum, to hurt, injure.] A hurt; an injury. Specifically: (a) (Civil Law) Loss sustained from failure to fulfill a bargain or contract. Burrill. (b) (Med.) Any morbid change in… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • lesion — *wound, trauma, traumatism, bruise, contusion Analogous words: *injury, hurt, damage …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • lesion — [n] injury, wound abrasion, bruise, contusion, cut, gash, laceration, scrape, scratch, sore; concept 309 …   New thesaurus

  • lesión — (Del lat. laesĭo, ōnis). 1. f. Daño o detrimento corporal causado por una herida, un golpe o una enfermedad. 2. Daño, perjuicio o detrimento. 3. Der. Daño que se causa en las ventas por no hacerlas en su justo precio. 4. Der. Perjuicio sufrido… …   Diccionario de la lengua española

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