What is arterial thrombosis?

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Arterial thrombosis is basically a blood clot in an artery. This is considered as a serious condition since it can disrupt with the supply of blood to the vital organs. It is important to note that the arteries are the blood vessels that transport blood from the heart to the entire body and the heart muscle.

Indications and risk factors

A clot does not usually trigger any symptoms until it disrupts with the flow of blood to a certain body part. Once this occurs, it can cause a variety of serious issues including:

  • Heart attack – if the flow of blood to the heart is abruptly obstructed, it results to chest pain, dizziness and shortness of breath
    Arterial thrombosis generally affects individuals with arteries that are obstructed by fatty deposits or atherosclerosis.
  • Transient ischemic attack (TIA) – if the flow of blood to the brain is briefly blocked, it causes momentary stroke symptoms
  • Stroke – once the flow of blood to the brain is disrupted, it causes facial drooping on one side, slurred speech and weakness in one arm
  • Critical limb ischemia – if the blood flow to a limb is obstructed, it triggers pain, discoloration and coldness

These conditions are considered as medical emergencies that require immediate medical attention.

What are the causes?

Arterial thrombosis generally affects individuals with arteries that are obstructed by fatty deposits or atherosclerosis. Remember that these deposits results to the narrowing and hardening of the arteries over time and heightens the risk for blood clots.

Some of the usual risk factors for developing atherosclerosis include:

  • Smoking
  • Elderly
  • Poor diet
  • Lack of exercise or physical activity
  • Being obese or overweight
  • Family history of atherosclerosis
  • Large consumption of alcoholic beverages
  • Existing health conditions such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure or diabetes

Management of arterial thrombosis

If an individual develops arterial thrombosis, it should be managed using medications or even surgery.

The commonly used treatment options include:

  • Thrombolytic injections that work by dissolving some of the blood clots
  • Embolectomy – this procedure involves the removal of the clot
  • Surgical procedure that involves the widening of the artery such as angioplasty
  • Surgery where the blood around the obstructed artery is diverted such as a coronary artery bypass graft

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