Table 1

Characteristic features of apoptosis versus necrosis

Condensation/clumping of nuclear chromatinNuclear chromatin non-specifically degraded
Loss of cell–cell contact, cell shrinkage, and fragmentation, with formation of membrane bound processes and vesicles containing fragments of nuclear material or organellesCell volume increases
Adjacent cells phagocytose the end product, the apoptotic body
Minimal disruption of cell membranes or release of lysosomal enzymes, with consequently little inflammatory reactionCell membrane integrity lost early, release of lysosomal enzymes and subsequent inflammation
Organelle structure and function maintained until late into the processOrganelle structure and function lost early