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Can deep vein thrombosis (DVT) cause a stroke or heart attack?

ANSWER

A clot from a deep vein usually doesn't move to the heart to cause a heart attack or to the brain to cause a stroke. That said, a blood clot in an artery -- called arterial thrombosis -- can.

SOURCES:

CDC: "Deep Vein Thrombosis [DVT] / Pulmonary Embolism [PE] -- Blood Clot Forming in a Vein, Facts."

Marc Passman, MD, director, Vein Program, University of Alabama at Birmingham.

NIH MedlinePlus: "Deep Vein Thrombosis: Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment and Latest NIH Research."

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: "How Is Deep Vein Thrombosis Treated?"

Sam Schulman, MD, director, Clinical Thromboembolism Program, Hamilton Health Sciences, Hamilton General Hospital, Hamilton, Ontario.

Natalie Evans, MD, vascular medicine specialist, Miller Family Heart and Vascular Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH.

Reviewed by Debra Jaliman on July 11, 2017

SOURCES:

CDC: "Deep Vein Thrombosis [DVT] / Pulmonary Embolism [PE] -- Blood Clot Forming in a Vein, Facts."

Marc Passman, MD, director, Vein Program, University of Alabama at Birmingham.

NIH MedlinePlus: "Deep Vein Thrombosis: Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment and Latest NIH Research."

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: "How Is Deep Vein Thrombosis Treated?"

Sam Schulman, MD, director, Clinical Thromboembolism Program, Hamilton Health Sciences, Hamilton General Hospital, Hamilton, Ontario.

Natalie Evans, MD, vascular medicine specialist, Miller Family Heart and Vascular Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH.

Reviewed by Debra Jaliman on July 11, 2017

NEXT QUESTION:

What are the lasting effects of deep vein thrombosis (DVT)?

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