Cell death: Necrosis and Apoptosis


Cell death: Necrosis and Apoptosis


  • Necrosis and apoptosis are both types of cell death, which follows the failure of a cell to adapt to injury
  • They are both characterised by profound membrane and mitochrondrial dysfunction
  • In both apoptosis and necrosis, the remnants of the cells are phagocytosed


  • Necrosis is always pathological whereas apoptosis can be induced pathologically or physiologically
  • Necrosis affects groups of cells whereas apoptosis is the death of an individual cell although it can occur in multiple cells
  • Apoptosis is energy-dependent whereas necrosis results from an energy failure
  • In necrosis, there is a loss of membrane integrity. In apoptosis, the cell membrane remains intact.
  • In apoptosis, the cell shrinks and fragments to form apoptotic bodies with dense chromatin. In necrosis, the cell swells and cell lysis occurs.
  • There is no inflammatory response in apoptosis. However, necrosis induces inflammation.

Overall comparison


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