What is Thrombosis?

Thrombosis is the formation of a blood clot (thrombus) inside a blood vessel, obstructing the flow of blood through the circulatory system. When a blood vessel is injured, the body uses platelets and fibrin to form a blood clot, because the first step in repairing it (hemostasis) is to prevent loss of blood. If that mechanism causes too much clotting, and the clot breaks free, an embolus is formed.

Thromboembolism is both thrombosis and its main complication, which is embolisation.

When a thrombus occupies more than 75% of surface area of the lumen of an artery, blood flow to the tissue supplied is reduced enough to cause symptoms because of decreased oxygen (hypoxia) and accumulation of metabolic products like lactic acid. More than 90% obstruction can result in anoxia, the complete deprivation of oxygen, and infarction, a mode of cell death.

Further Reading


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Last Updated: Feb 1, 2011

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