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Thrombosis occurs when clots obstruct veins (blood vessels that carry blood from the body back into the heart) or arteries (blood vessels that carry oxygenated blood away from the heart to the body). Venous thrombosis is when the blood clot obstructs a vein, and arterial thrombosis is when the blood clot obstructs an artery.
Venous thrombosis may be the result of the following:
Pooling (stasis) of blood in the legs and subsequent clotting can result in varicose veins. Clots in the legs may break loose and travel to the lungs, causing pulmonary clots that can result in respiratory distress, pain, and in extreme cases, death.
Arterial thrombosis may be the result of arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries where fatty or calcium deposits cause the arterial walls to thicken) of blood vessels (clots form on abnormal blood vessel surfaces).
When arterial thrombosis occurs in the coronary arteries (the two that come from the aorta to provide blood to the heart muscle), it can lead to heart attacks. When arterial thrombosis occurs in the cerebral (brain) circulation, it can lead to strokes or lack of oxygen to other organs.
The following are the most common symptoms of thrombosis. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:
The symptoms of thrombosis may resemble other blood disorders or medical problems. Always consult your physician for a diagnosis.
In addition to a complete medical history and physical examination, diagnostic procedures for thrombosis may include additional blood tests including hypercoagulability panels. Dye injection and catheterization is also used to diagnose the presence of arterial and venous thrombosis.
Specific treatment for thrombosis will be determined by your physician based on:
Treatment may include: