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noun, plural: ecchymoses

(1) An effusion of blood underneath the skin due to ruptured blood vessel

(2) A haemorrhagic spot in the skin (or mucous membrane) that is flat, rounded or irregular, and bluish or purplish in colour, caused by extravasation of blood


Haematoma is a localised collection of blood, usually clotted, in an organ, space or tissue, due to a break in the wall of a blood vessel. It may be classified according to the degree affected. It may be petechiae, purpura, or ecchymosis.

Ecchymosis is larger in size than a petechia or a purpura. It has a diameter larger than 1 cm. It has a more diffuse border than purpura. It also has a more diffuse border than purpura. It is caused by an escape of blood from the damaged blood vessel into the tissues. It may be caused by trauma and certain pathologica cell function. For instance, ecchymosis may form in individuals with Marburg virus disease. Coagulopathies, e.g. haemophilia A, may also lead to the formation of ecchymosis especially in children. Taking certain medications such as betamethasone may also cause ecchymosis formation.

Word origin: Word origin: Greek ek + chymos (juice) + osis

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Related term(s):

Related form(s):

  • ecchymose (verb, to discolor by producing ecchymosis)
  • ecchymotic (adjective)