Venous thrombus and embolus

Illustration of venous thrombus and embolus

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.

Last Updated: January 29, 2009

Medical Review: Caroline S. Rhoads, MD - Internal Medicine & Jeffrey S. Ginsberg, MD - Hematology

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