17 Best Difference between Necrosis and Apoptosis with Table

What is the difference between necrosis and apoptosis?

The multicellular organism tends to experience numerous cell death which occurs naturally or as a result of external factors. The occurrence of cell death can either be necrosis or apoptosis.

The core difference between necrosis and apoptosis is that necrosis is the premature cell death that occurs randomly in the body while apoptosis is the programmed cell death that occurs naturally.

Difference between Necrosis and Apoptosis

What Is Necrosis?

Necrosis is the premature cell death that occurs randomly in the body due to external factors. Some of the common external factors that cause unnatural cell death are a virus, bacteria, fungi, injuries, toxicity, and infections.

Improper supply of oxygen in the body tissues causes necrosis and it is termed hypoxia. Necrosis is triggered when the cell is unable to undertake homeostasis. The cell organelle raptures dues to excess osmotic pressure.

What Is Apoptosis?

Apoptosis is the natural cell death in the body triggered by biological, chemical, and physical factors. Caspases initiate the whole process of cellular degradation. The enzyme becomes quite active during apoptosis.

The mechanical process requires energy to initiate natural cell death. It is found in the development of the nervous system, immunological reaction, homeostasis, and embryogenesis.

Comparison Chart: Necrosis Vs Apoptosis

Basic Terms Necrosis Apoptosis
Meaning Refers to the premature death of cells and tissues in the body Refers to the natural death of cells and tissues in the body
Occurrence Unregulated event Regular interval of time
Reason It occurs due to pathogenically reasons Genetically controlled and natural death
Medical treatment Require treatment since it is abnormal Does not require treatment since it is normal
Effect Harmful to the body Beneficial to the body since old cells and tissues are removed
Causes External factors such as virus, fungi, and toxins It is a self-derived process
Cell Shape Cell swell up Cell tend to shrink
Energy Requirement Do not require energy Require energy in form of ATP.
Symptoms Inflammation of the body No physical symptoms

Core Differences between Necrosis and Apoptosis In Point Form

  1. Necrosis is the premature cell death while apoptosis is a natural cell death
  2. Necrosis is an unregulated random event while apoptosis is a regulated timely event
  3. Apoptosis is genetically controlled while necrosis is not genetically controlled
  4. Apoptosis is a pre-planned cell death pathway while necrosis is not a pre-planned cell death pathway
  5. Necrosis is an abnormal cell death while apoptosis is a normal cell death
  6. Necrosis require treatment while apoptosis does not require treatment
  7. Apoptosis requires energy in the form of ATP while necrosis do not need energy for initiation
  8. Necrosis cell death is detrimental to the organism while apoptosis is beneficial to organisms
  9. Apoptosis cell death initiates self-generated signals from inside or outside while necrosis cell death occurs after a signal from external factors
  10. Necrosis causes swelling of the cell while apoptosis causes shrinking of cells
  11. Necrosis causes disorganization of cells while apoptosis cause fragmentation
  12. Necrosis is marked by severe inflammation while apoptosis is not marked by any physical symptoms
  13. Necrosis is a passive process while apoptosis is an active process
  14. Necrosis occurs in narcotic cells while apoptosis occur in individual cells and tissues
  15. Necrosis ends in total lysis of cells while apoptosis ends in fragmentation of cells into smaller bodies
  16. Apoptosis results in pH change into acidic while necrosis does not cause a change in pH of the cell
  17. The integrity of the mitochondria is maintained in necrosis while apoptosis is lost during the initial stages.

Similarities between Necrosis and Apoptosis

  1. Both are cell pathways in the organism
  2. Both are marked by profound membrane dysfunction
  3. Both are marked by mitochondria dysfunction
  4. Both experience DNA fragmentation
  5. Both cell deaths are phagocytes
  6. Both occur in plants and animals
  7. Both are absent in prokaryotic organisms

You May Also Like:

Comparison Video


Both processes occur in multicellular organisms. The core difference between apoptosis and necrosis is that apoptosis is a natural cell and tissue death in the body while necrosis is unnatural cell death in the body.

Leave a Comment