Open Your Eyes to Arterial Thrombosis (Atherothrombosis)
Image courtesy Stephan Moll, MD, Chapel Hill, NC.
Arterial thrombosis is much less common than venous thrombosis, although it poses similar risks. The veins are responsible for taking blood and oxygen to different sections of the body. The blood is normally subject to higher pressure when it is travelling in the veins and may be moving more quickly. It is therefore less likely to clot in the arteries. Whereas venous thromboses normally lead to swelling and fluid congestion in an area, arterial thrombosis can lead to body tissue becoming starved of blood and oxygen. This can eventually lead to necrosis of the tissue. A thrombosis or embolism in the coronary artery can cause a heart attack. If blood supply to the brain is disrupted, the patient may suffer a stroke.