Medically the evaluation by Deborah Weatherspoon, Ph.D., R.N., CRNA — composed by Tom Seymour ~ above September 15, 2017

It comes from the Greek native hupér, definition over, and also haîma, meaning blood.

You are watching: The redness and heat of an inflamed area are due to a local hyperemia caused by

In this article, we research what hyperemia is, in addition to its causes and also symptoms. We also take a look in ~ the distinction between active and passive hyperemia.


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Share top top PinterestHyperemia is an excess of blood in blood vessels and may watch red and also warm, together as once a human being blushes.
Hyperemia occurs when excess blood builds up inside the vascular system, i m sorry is the mechanism of blood ship in the body.

When overfill blood occurs external the vascular system, as result of a damaged blood courage or injury, this is known as hemorrhage.

The buildup that blood may current as a red, warm, painful, puffy area. This signs, along with loss of function, are taken into consideration the original 5 signs of inflammation identified by the Greek philosopher Celsus.


Hyperemia deserve to be broken down right into two types: active and passive.

These varieties can climate be further separated into neighborhood hyperemia (meaning in a particular area) or basic hyperemia (affecting a entirety system in the body).

Hyperemia can be acute or chronic, an interpretation it can happen quickly and also for a brief time or might persist over a longer term.

Active hyperemia

Active hyperemia is a physiological solution to other happening in the body. It is one acute form of hyperemia.

For example, there is an ext blood in the digestive system after a meal, more blood in the muscles after exercise, and an ext blood in the confront when a human blushes.

Increased blood flow and also redness take place when there is a demand for oxygen and nutrients in a specific area.

The two different types of active hyperemia are:

Acute general active hyperemia: when there is enhanced blood circulation throughout the body.Acute local active hyperemia: as soon as there is an boosted amount the blood in a local area such together the leg, stomach, or lung. This is the most common kind of hyperemia.

Passive hyperemia

Also well-known as congestion, passive hyperemia have the right to be either acute or chronic.

Chronic passive hyperemia generally occurs in the body organ systems of the lung, liver, and lower extremities.

It may be localized to one area. However, if the blood circulation in the heart is being impeded, then it will influence the entirety system.

This occurs once there is a decreased outflow the end of the blood vessels.


The reasons of hyperemia vary depending on whether it is energetic or passive.

Causes of energetic hyperemia include:

exerciseinflammationmenopausal flushdiseases the make the heart beat rapidly

Causes of passive hyperemia include:

a blockage in a blood vessela kink in a veinthrombosis

Another cause of passive hyperemia is the i can not qualify of the love to pump blood efficiently, resulting in a buildup the too much blood in locations leading come the heart.

In right-sided love failure, the blood backs up into the liver. In left-sided love failure, the blood backs up into the lungs.

Right-sided love failure

If the problem is on the right side that the heart, the can cause congestion in the liver, spleen, kidney, or leg.

This deserve to lead to what is well-known as “nutmeg liver” due to the mottled pattern that shows up on the liver. The liver will additionally be enlarged, red or reddish-blue in appearance, and also surrounded by brownish-yellow fat liver cells.

Over time, this can reason cirrhosis, i beg your pardon is scarring led to by long-term liver damage and can at some point lead come liver failure and also death.

Left-sided heart failure

The lungs are more likely come be affected if over there is a trouble with the left side of the heart. The lungs will show up dark red and there may be excess fluid in the lungs.

Heart failure in one next can ultimately lead to fail in the contrary side together well.


Hyperemia can adjust the organization in the influenced area. Civilization with active hyperemia may notice one or an ext of the following symptoms:

bright red in colorwarmer than usual come touchswelling

Passive hyperemia affect the organization differently and also has the complying with symptoms:

dark blue or red tingeswollencooler than usual to touchin chronic cases, brown in color

Effects and complications

The type of hyperemia a person has will determine what kind of complications might occur.

For example, acute local active hyperemia might be a authorize of inflammation. Acute regional passive hyperemia could be as result of intestinal or uterus torsion.

Chronic local passive hyperemia could indicate the tumors or abscesses are emerging in the body.

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Passive hyperemia, or congestion, is attached to love problems and will affect different organs in the body depending upon which part of the love is affected.