Medical Definition of Cyanosis

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Cyanosis: A bluish color of the skin and the mucous membranes due to insufficient oxygen in the blood. For example, the lips can develop cynanosis when exposed to extreme cold. Cyanosis can be present at birth, as in a 'blue baby,' an infant with a malformation of the heart that permits into the arterial system blood that is not fully oxygenated.

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Reviewed on 12/27/2018

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