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November 1960

Phlegmasia Cerulea Dolens: A Case Report with a Review of the Literature

Arch Intern Med. 1960;106(5):647-652. doi:10.1001/archinte.1960.03820050059011

Phlegmasia cerula dolens is a grave complication of deep thrombophlebitis, characterized by a sudden massive venous occlusion which simulates arterial embolism in its effects and seriously endangers both the patient's life and the affected limb. In the last decade, the British and American literature indicate a growing awareness that the condition is not so rare as had been thought.17,18 However, the differential diagnosis is difficult and entails dismissing the possibility of arterial exploration early in the course, and later, decision to avoid premature amputation. Moreover, the preferred conservative management may require many months, and the course is fraught with dangers of further complications such as pulmonary embolism, infection, and psychological disturbance. It is the aim of this paper, by presenting a case and briefly reviewing the clinical features, to draw attention to this entity and the value of patient conservative medical and surgical management.

Historical Development  As early as

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