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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.
Current as of: January 27, 2016
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Jeffrey S. Ginsberg, MD - Hematology
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