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Lung Disease & Respiratory Health Center

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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.

Recommended Related to Lung Disease/Respiratory Problems

Outdoor Pollution and Lung Function Effects

In 1996, the city of Atlanta took dramatic steps to improve the city's air quality for the summer Olympics. In the process, it showed how reducing air pollution can improve lung function. What city officials did -- switching to rapid transit and buses that ran on natural gas instead of diesel -- decreased asthma attacks by up to 44% in children and ozone concentrations by 28%, the CDC reported in a study in 2001 in The Journal of the American Medical Association. "It seemed easier to breathe,"...

Read the Outdoor Pollution and Lung Function Effects article > >

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: September 09, 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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