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Paradoxical Embolism - Topic Overview

A paradoxical embolism is a blood clot that does not travel with normal blood flow. Normally, blood flows from the right side of the heart through the pulmonary arteries and lungs before it returns to the left side of the heart.

This type of embolism often causes a stroke because the clot moves directly from the right side of the heart to the left through a hole (defect) in the septum, which separates the upper right and left heart chambers. This hole is called a patent foramen ovale. The clot is pumped out of the heart and toward the brain, where it can cause a stroke.

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    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: March 12, 2014
    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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