If a bacterial infection is present at the site of thrombosis, the thrombus may break down, spreading particles of infected material throughout the circulatory system (pyemia, septic embolus) and setting up metastatic abscesses wherever they come to rest.
Without an infection, the thrombus may become detached and enter circulation as an embolus, finally lodging in and completely obstructing a blood vessel, which unless treated very quickly will lead to tissue necrosis (an infarction) in the area past the occlusion.
If the occlusion is in the coronary artery, myocardial ischaemia is likely to occur, whereby cardiac myocytes cannot function proplerly due to lack of oxygen. This lack of oxygen is then likely to result in a myocardial infarction.
Most thrombi, however, become organized into fibrous tissue, and the thrombosed vessel is gradually recanalized.
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