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Blood clots

Clot; Emboli; Thrombi; Hypercoagulable state

Blood clots are clumps that occur when blood hardens from a liquid to a solid.

A thrombus or embolus can partly or completely block the flow of blood in a blood vessel.

Images

Thrombus
Janeway lesion on the finger
Deep venous thrombosis, ileofemoral

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Causes

Situations in which a blood clot is more likely to form include:

Blood clots are also more likely in people with cancer, recent surgery or injury, obesity, and liver or kidney disease.

A buildup of cholesterol that narrows an artery may change or slow the flow of blood, making it easier for a blood clot or thrombus to form.

Conditions that are passed down through families (inherited) may make you more likely to form abnormal blood clots. Inherited conditions that affect clotting are:

A blood clot may block an artery or vein in the heart, affecting the:

Related Information

Hardening of the arteries
Arterial embolism
Pulmonary embolus
Deep venous thrombosis
Renal vein thrombosis
Atheroembolic renal disease
Thrombophlebitis
Stroke
Heart attack
Angina
Necrosis
Venogram
Limb plethysmography
Taking warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven) - what to ask your doctor
Taking warfarin (Coumadin)
Deep vein thrombosis - discharge

References

Schafer AI. Thrombotic disorders: hypercoagulable states. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 179.

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Review Date: 5/29/2014  

Reviewed By: Yi-Bin Chen, MD, Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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