Cyanosis

Last revised by Dr Rohit Sharma on 24 May 2022

Cyanosis (plural: cyanoses) is a physical sign represented by bluish discolouration of the skin. It indicates there is reduced oxygen bound to red blood cells in the bloodstream. Diagnosis of the underlying cause of cyanosis is based on a thorough history and physical examination.

Pathology

Etiology

Cyanosis has a long list of potential causes, common examples include:

Differential diagnosis

  • pseudocyanosis
    • argyria: silver toxicity, may cause a bluish discolouration of the skin
    • gold toxicity
    • amiodarone toxicity

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