Chronic venous congestion

Chronic venous congestion

Venous congestion is the dilation of veins and capillaries due to impaired venous drainage which results in passive hyperaemia or venous congestion, commonly referred to as congestion. Congestion may be acute or chronic, the later being more common and called chronic venous congestion (CVC). The affected tissue or organ is bluish in color (cyanosis) due to red cell stasis and accumulation of deoxygenated hemoglobin.[1]

It is of 2 types:

a) Local venous congestion due to obstruction and subsequent reduced venous outflow from an organ or part of body, e.g. portal venous obstruction in cirrhosis of liver.

b) Systemic (general) venous congestion is engorgement of systemic veins, left-sided and right-sided heart failure and lung diseases (such as pulmonary fibrosis) which interfere with pulmonary blood flow.

Blood sucking leeches may be a suitable remedy against acute venuous congestion.


Symptoms include engorgement of the blood vessels, hemorrhage into the interstitium, congestion (and edemation) in the organ, and prolonged standing (as in heart failure).

Macrophagic infiltration takes up the cellular debris. The haemoglobin is converted into haemosiderin inside cells in the organ. In the lung, the haemosiderin cells are known as heart failure cells.

The appearance of chronic venous congestion of the lungs is rusty brown, due to brown induration of the lungs.


  1. ^ Kumar, Abbas, Fausto, Aster. "Robbins and Cotran - Pathologic Basis of Disease." Eighth Edition, Saunders, Elsevier, 2010.

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