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Title: Ecchymosis  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Hematoma, Bruise, Raccoon eyes, Wound, List of MeSH codes (C23)
Collection: Dermatologic Terminology, Medical Signs
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


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
e- + chym + -osis
Specialty Dermatology
ICD-9-CM 459.89, 782.7
MeSH D004438

An ecchymosis 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 1
  • Cause 2
  • Etymology and pronunciation 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5

Signs and symptoms

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]


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

Etymology and pronunciation

The word ecchymosis (; plural ecchymoses, ) comes to English from

See also


  1. ^ "UCSF Purpura Module" (PDF). 
  2. ^ "Easy Bruising Symptoms". 
  3. ^ Merriam-Webster Dictionary. 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.  
  8. ^  
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