- Human pathology

Home > C. Tissular pathology > Congestion


Monday 19 December 2005

Definition: Congestion is a passive process resulting from impaired outflow from a tissue. It may occur systemically, as in cardiac failure, or it may be local, resulting from an isolated venous obstruction. The tissue has a blue-red color (cyanosis), particularly as worsening congestion leads to accumulation of deoxygenated hemoglobin in the affected tissues.


- cutaneous congestion
- cerebral congestion
- visceral congestion

  • renal congestion


- acute pulmonary congestion

  • characterized by alveolar capillaries engorged with blood
  • associated alveolar septal edema and/or focal intra-alveolar hemorrhage

- chronic pulmonary congestion

  • thickened and fibrotic septa
  • alveolar spaces containing numerous hemosiderin-laden macrophages (siderophages)

- acute hepatic congestion

  • central vein and sinusoids distended with blood
  • central hepatocyte degeneration

- chronic passive hepatic congestion of the liver

  • central regions of the hepatic lobules grossly red-brown and slightly depressed (owing to a loss of cells)
  • accentuated against the surrounding zones of uncongested tan liver (nutmeg liver)
  • centrilobular necrosis
  • loss of hepatocytes (hepatocytic dropout)
  • hemorrhage
  • hemosiderin-laden macrophages
  • hepatic fibrosis (cardiac cirrhosis)

See also

- Hyperemia
- Edema