Hyperemia or Congestion

– an excessive amount of blood in a body part

1. Active or Arterial Hyperemia

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– due to an increased arterial supply

Physiological active hyperemia

– supplies increased nourishment to organs or tissues doing increased work

b. Pathological active hyperemia

– initiates inflammation and forms one of the most important features of inflammation

2. Passive or Venous Hyperemia

– due to decreased venous drainage or a blockage

– always pathological


– usually due to an obstruction of a vein by a thrombus or embolus, thickening of the vessel wall, or pressure from an outside lesion such as a neoplasm or enlarged organ

– may lead to local edema

b. Generalized

– the flow of blood through the lungs is often reduced

– may lead to anasarca

– therefore, less blood is oxygenated

– usually due to a heart disorder

– anoxemia

– less oxygen is in the tissues

– hypoxia

– leading to shortness of breath

– and a bluish discoloration of the skin, lips, nail beds and mucous membranes

– dyspnea

– cyanosis