Thrombosis and Embolism

Atherosclerosis predisposes a person to thrombosis, the formation of a blood clot within a vessel. The clot, called a thrombus, interrupts blood flow to the tissues supplied by that vessel, resulting in necrosis (tissue death). Blockage of a vessel by a thrombus or other mass carried in the bloodstream is an embolism, and the mass itself is called an embolus. Usually the mass is a blood clot that breaks loose from the wall of a vessel, but it may also be air (as from injection or trauma), fat (as from marrow released after a bone break), bacteria, or other solid materials. Often a venous thrombus will travel through the heart and then lodge in an artery of the lungs, resulting in a life-threatening pulmonary embolism. An embolus from a carotid artery often blocks a cerebral vessel, causing a cerebrovascular accident (CVA), commonly called stroke (see Chapter 17).

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Essentials of Human Physiology

Essentials of Human Physiology

This ebook provides an introductory explanation of the workings of the human body, with an effort to draw connections between the body systems and explain their interdependencies. A framework for the book is homeostasis and how the body maintains balance within each system. This is intended as a first introduction to physiology for a college-level course.

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