Liquefactive necrosis is a type of necrosis uniquely observed in brain. This occurs due to breakdown of cellular proteins by the action of hydrolytic enzymes. In other parts of the body, usually a different form-coagulative necrosis is seen.

What makes the brain so unique that this form of necrosis is only limited to brain?

  • $\begingroup$ According to Wikipedia citing this article, liquefactive necrosis is not restricted to brain only. NCBI books describes, how liquefactive necrosis is induced. Seems to be dependent on neutrophils. They also claim that coagulative necrosis occurs in every organ except the brain. But I just made a quick search. I hope I could help you anyway. $\endgroup$
    – SeRe
    Commented Nov 21, 2017 at 11:45

1 Answer 1


Liquefactive necrosis is indeed only seen in the brain in the absence of infection, but it is also seen in the case of some bacterial infections. The reason is that liquefactive necrosis is, as you said, caused by the release of digestive enzymes and constituents of neutrophils. Bacteria will, under some circumstances, release those enzymes, causing the cells to be devoured.

The fact that liquefactive necrosis is seen in the brain in the absence of bacterial infection is in part due to the fact that neurons have a higher lysosomal content, leading to a higher tendency toward autolysis, and in part due to a high concentration of neutrophils which swarm into an affected area.



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