Vidone, Romeo A. Department of Pathology, Hospital of St. Raphael, New Haven, Connecticut.
- Additional Readings
The sudden blocking of an artery or vein by a clot or other substance which has been brought to its place by the blood current. The material carried in the circulation in this process is an embolus. Emboli may be composed of thrombi, fat, air, tumor cells, masses of bacteria or parasites, bone marrow, amniotic fluid, or atheromatous material from the vessel wall. A thrombus which has formed in the heart or one of the vessels is the usual form of embolus (see illustration). Emboli from the right side of the heart or the great venous system of the body come to lodge in the lungs; those from the portal system, in the liver; and those from the pulmonary veins or left side of the heart, in some segment of the peripheral arterial tree. Pulmonary emboli can result in infarction of the lung. However, if they are large enough to occlude the main pulmonary artery or one of the major branches, the individual may die of shock.
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