A thrombus is a blood clot in the vascular system (circulatory system). It stays attached to the site where it was formed and impedes blood flow. Under these circumstances, a person is said to be experiencing a thrombosis.
A thrombus is more likely to occur in people who are immobile, and who are genetically predisposed to blood clotting. A thrombus can also form if an artery, vein, or surrounding tissue is damaged.
In this article, we look at blood clots and the different types of thrombi that can occur. The article also looks at the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of thrombi.
Blood clots and thrombus types:
A blood clot is usually a healthy physical response to injury. It quickly forms a plug that can reduce or even prevent bleeding.
A bit of blood clot that breaks free from the thrombus site and circulates in the bloodstream is called an embolus. An embolus moves through the vascular system until it eventually becomes lodged.
An embolus is a dangerous and potentially fatal complication of thrombosis, especially if the embolus reaches the heart, lungs, or brain. When this happens, the person is said to be experiencing an embolism.
A thrombus is a problem because it impedes the function of a blood vessel.
The effect of a thrombus on the body depends on its location. When a thrombus forms in an artery, such as in the heart or brain, it is called an arterial thrombosis. When a thrombus occurs in a vein, it is called a venous thrombosis. When this happens in the deep veins of the leg, it is called deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
When any of the following factors are present, a clot can form more easily within a blood vessel:
1) tobacco smoking
2) High Cholestrol
4) being obese or overweight
5) Diabetes Mellitus
6) not exercising (sedentary lifestyle)
Some of these factors also increase the risk of atherosclerosis a condition where the blood vessels become clogged with fatty plaque deposits. Atherosclerosis increases the risk of blood clots blocking the arteries, as well as the veins.