Ecchymosis

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For the Colombian band, see Ekhymosis.
Ecchymoses
Bilateral periorbital ecchymosis (raccoon eyes).jpg
Bilateral periorbital ecchymosis also known as "raccoon eyes". Bilateral = "both sides", periorbital="around the orbit (eye), eccyhmosis=bruise". Bruising around the eyes on both sides.
Classification and external resources
Specialty Dermatology
ICD-9-CM 459.89, 782.7
MeSH D004438

An ecchymosis (e- + chym + -osis) is a subcutaneous spot of bleeding (from extravasation of blood) with diameter larger than 1 centimeter. It is similar to (and sometimes indistinguishable from) a hematoma, commonly called a bruise, though the terms are not interchangeable in careful usage.[1] Specifically, bruises are caused by trauma whereas ecchymoses, which are the same as the spots of purpura except larger, are not necessarily caused by trauma,[2] often being caused by pathophysiologic cell function.

A broader definition of ecchymosis[3][4] is the escape of blood into the tissues from ruptured blood vessels. The term also applies to the subcutaneous discoloration resulting from seepage of blood within the contused tissue.

Signs and symptoms[edit]

Hematomas can be subdivided by size. By definition, ecchymoses are 1 centimeter in size or larger, and are therefore larger than petechiae ( less than 2 millimeters in diameter) or purpura (2 millimeters to 1 centimeter in diameter).[5] Ecchymoses also have a more diffuse border than other purpura.[6]

Cause[edit]

There are many causes of subcutaneous hematomas including ecchymoses. Coagulopathies such as Hemophilia A may cause ecchymosis formation in children.[7]

Etymology and pronunciation[edit]

The word ecchymosis (/ˌɛkɨˈmsɨs/; plural ecchymoses, /ˌɛkɨˈmsis/) comes to English from New Latin, based on Greek ekchymōsis, from ekchymousthai "to extravasate blood", from ex- (elided to e-) and chymos, "juice".[8] Compare enchyma, "tissue infused with organic juice"; elaboration from chyme, the formative juice of tissues.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "UCSF Purpura Module" (PDF). 
  2. ^ "Easy Bruising Symptoms". 
  3. ^ Merriam-Webster Dictionary. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ecchymosis; accessed 1/2/2012
  4. ^ Gould, George M. "The Practitioner's Medical Dictionary," P. Blakiston's Son & Co., 1916 et seq.; p. 311
  5. ^ Leung, AKC; Chan, KW (August 2001). "Evaluating the Child with Purpura". American Family Physician 64 (3): 419–429. 
  6. ^ "Case Based Pediatrics Chapter". Retrieved 2009-01-08. 
  7. ^ Lee, AC (June 2008). "Bruises, blood coagulation tests and the battered child syndrome" (PDF). Singapore Medical Journal 49 (6): 445–449. PMID 18581014. 
  8. ^ Merriam-Webster, Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, Merriam-Webster.