Phlegmasia cerulea dolens

An uncommon, severe form of Deep venous thrombosis (clots in the vein), usually in the upper leg.


Below the blocked vein, phlegmasia cerulea dolens produces swelling, bluish color, and pain.

Signs and tests

See Deep venous thrombosis.


See Deep venous thrombosis.


Progression of the clotting process in the vein may lead to increased swelling. This can cause a global compromise of the circulation in the limb, affecting both the arteries and the veins. This complication is called phlegmasia alba dolens and may lead to gangrene, requiring amputation.

Calling your health care provider

See your health care provider, call the local emergency number (such as 911), or get to an emergency room immediately if an arm or leg is seriously swollen, blue, and painful.

Johns Hopkins patient information

Last revised: December 6, 2012
by Simon D. Mitin, M.D.

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