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Phlegmasia cerulea dolens



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

Alternative Names

Phlegmasia alba dolens



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

Signs and tests

For information on diagnosis, see: Deep venous thrombosis

Support Groups

Expectations (prognosis)

Calling your health care provider

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


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


For information on treatment, see: Deep venous thrombosis


Review Date: 3/28/2010
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; James R. Mason, MD, Oncologist, Director, Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program and Stem Cell Processing Lab, Scripps Clinic, Torrey Pines, California. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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