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Venous Thrombus and Embolus

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Illustration copyright 2000 by Nucleus Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. http://www.nucleusinc.com

A thrombus is a blood clot that forms in a vein.

An embolus is anything that travels through the blood vessels until it reaches a vessel that is too small to let it pass. When this happens, the blood flow is stopped by the embolus. An embolus is often a small piece of a blood clot that breaks off (thromboembolus). It may also be fat, air, amniotic fluid, a tumor, or a foreign substance such as talc, iodine, cotton, or a tiny piece of catheter tube.

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Jeffrey S. Ginsberg, MD - Hematology
Last Revised January 10, 2013

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: January 10, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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