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Cyanosis Assessment Questionnaire

Questions Your Doctor May Ask - and Why!

During a consultation, your doctor will use various techniques to assess the symptom: Cyanosis. These will include a physical examination and possibly diagnostic tests. (Note: A physical exam is always done, diagnostic tests may or may not be performed depending on the suspected condition) Your doctor will ask several questions when assessing your condition. It is important to openly share any pertinent information to help your doctor make an accurate diagnosis.

It is also very important to bring an up-to-date list of all of your all medical conditions, medications including dosages, and names of numbers of any specialist you see.

Create your printable checklist by answering questions that your doctor may ask below:

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  1. How long have you noticed that you have cyanosis?

    Why: to determine if acute or chronic.

  2. Is the cyanosis central or peripheral?

    Why: Central cyanosis means that there is an abnormal amount of hemoglobin in the arterial blood without oxygen and the blue discoloration is present in parts of the body with good circulation such as the tongue. Peripheral cyanosis occurs when the blood supply to a certain part of the body is reduced e.g. lips in cold weather are blue but the tongue is spared. If central cyanosis is the problem must consider a problem with the cardiovascular or respiratory system.

  3. Is it localized or generalized?
  4. If generalized, which areas of the body does it affect?
  5. Is the blueness limited to one limb?

    Why: may suggest an arterial or venous thrombosis.

  6. Is the blueness limited to the peripheries?

    Why: (e.g. blue hands and lips) - this indicates a lack of blood supply to those parts of the body and may indicate exposure to cold, Raynaud's disease, Raynaud's phenomenon, peripheral vascular disease, left ventricular failure or shock.

  7. If central cyanosis

    Why: e.g. blue tongue, is there a history of drug ingestion? - e.g. potassium chlorate, sulfanilamide and coal tar may cause hemoglobin abnormalities and thus central cyanosis.

  8. Is the patient a child?

    Why: certain causes of cyanosis are limited to children e.g. croup.

  9. Past medical history?

    Why: possible causes of Raynaud's phenomenon include rheumatoid arthritis, lupus erythematosus, systemic sclerosis, polyarteritis nodosa, Buerger's disease, polycythaemia, leukemia, polymyositis , dermatomyositis. Central cyanosis may be due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, massive pulmonary embolism, cyanotic congenital heart disease, polycythaemia and abnormalities of hemoglobin.

  10. Medications?

    Why: beta-blocker blood pressure medications and ergotamine can cause Raynaud's phenomenon; methylene blue which is given in some heart investigations may cause central cyanosis.

  11. Cigarette smoking?

    Why: aggravates Raynaud's phenomenon and peripheral vascular disease that can cause peripheral cyanosis. Cigarette smoking can also cause chronic bronchitis and emphysema which can cause central cyanosis.

  12. Occupational history?

    Why: vibrating machinery workers are at risk of Raynaud's phenomenon.

  13. Blue tongue?

    Why: may indicate central cyanosis which is due to a lack of oxygenated hemoglobin in the blood vessels and thus may indicate high altitude, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, pulmonary embolism, cyanotic congenital heart disease, polycythaemia or hemoglobin abnormalities. Any cause of central cyanosis can also cause peripheral cyanosis and thus blue skin.

  14. Blue peripheries?

    Why: may indicate exposure to cold, left ventricular failure, shock, arterial obstruction, venous obstruction or any of the causes of central cyanosis.

  15. Significant shortness of breath?

    Why: should consider a lung or heart origin for the cyanosis e.g. cyanotic congenital heart disease, pulmonary embolism, pulmonary fibrosis, pulmonary emphysema or asthma.

  16. Stridor?

    Why: may suggest croup, foreign body.

  17. Symptoms of Raynaud's phenomenon (if blue hands)?

    Why: e.g. sequential discoloration of the digits from pallor to blueness to redness upon exposure to cold. When fingers become red they are painful.

  18. Symptoms of polycythaemia?

    Why: e.g. ruddy appearance, itch - polycythaemia is a cause of central cyanosis.

Conditions listing medical symptoms: Cyanosis:

The following list of conditions have 'Cyanosis' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.

Select from the following alphabetical view of conditions which include a symptom of Cyanosis or choose View All.

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Conditions listing medical complications: Cyanosis:

The following list of medical conditions have 'Cyanosis' or similar listed as a medical complication in our database.


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