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What is a thrombus?

A thrombus is a blood clot within a blood vessel (an artery or a vein). If a portion of the clot breaks off and travels in the blood vessels, it is called an embolism. Embolisms can lodge in various body organs and create a range of problems, depending on the organ.
A thrombus is a blood clot that occurs during decreased flow states such as during a heart attack. when the artery becomes clogged with cholesterol or fatty plaque, the blood flow is decreased and clots or forms a thrombus.

A thrombus or blood clot may also form inside the heart chambers especially in a condition called atrial fibrillation.

A thrombus that dislodges is called an embolus. An embolus is responsible for most causes of strokes and may come from the carotid artery or from the heart especially again in patients with atrial fibrillation.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
A thrombus is a blood clot that completely blocks a blood vessel. Watch this animation to see how thrombus reduces blood flow.


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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.