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Phlegmasia cerulea dolens is an uncommon, severe form of deep venous thrombosis (blood clots in the vein), usually in the upper leg.
Phlegmasia alba dolens
Pain, swelling, and bluish-skin coloring affect the area below the blocked vein.
For information on diagnosis, see: Deep venous thrombosis
For information on treatment, see: Deep venous thrombosis
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.
See immediate medical help if an arm or leg is severely swollen, blue, or painful.
Ginsberg J. Peripheral venous disease. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 81.
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