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Phlegmasia cerulea dolens


Definition:

Phlegmasia cerulea dolens is an uncommon, severe form of deep venous thrombosis (blood clots in the vein), usually in the upper leg.

Causes:

Phlegmasia alba dolens

Symptoms:

Pain, swelling, and bluish-skin coloring affect the area below the blocked vein.

Exams and Tests:

For information on diagnosis, see: Deep venous thrombosis

Treatment:

For information on treatment, see: Deep venous thrombosis

Possible Complications:

Continued clotting can lead to increased swelling. The swelling can interfere with blood flow. This complication is called phlegmasia alba dolens. It causes the skin to turn white. Phlegmasia alba dolens may lead to tissue death (gangrene) and the need for amputation.

When to Contact a Medical Professional:

See immediate medical help if an arm or leg is severely swollen, blue, or painful.

References:

Ginsberg J. Peripheral venous disease. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 81.


Review Date: 2/24/2014
Reviewed By: Todd Gersten, MD, Hematology/Oncology, Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute, Wellington, FL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. Copyright 2002 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

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