In science, the death of one or more human, animal or plant cells is referred to as necrosis. This is caused by damaging external influences. These include, for example, infectious diseases, an oxygen deficiency due to injuries, or contact with toxic substances. Such pathological influences damage the cell membrane. In most cases, the cell content then escapes into the surrounding tissue, which as a result often becomes inflamed.
Necrosis must be clearly differentiated from apoptosis: the latter describes the natural, controlled cell death of individual cells of a living organism.