An embolus (from the Greek embolos, meaning “projectile”) is a blood-borne detached mass in the vascular space that lodges at a site distant from its point of origin. Although technically emboli can be solid, liquid, or gaseous, over 99% of observed emboli originate from thrombi. Much rarer forms of emboli originate from bone fragments or marrow, ruptured atheromatous plaque debris, fat droplets, pieces of tumor, foreign bodies, or gas bubbles. Unless otherwise specified, the term embolus in this chapter implies “thromboembolus.” Once in the circulation, emboli are carried in the blood flow until they reach a vessel that is too narrow to permit passage. At this point the embolus lodges in the vessel, causing a partial or total occlusion that can lead to potentially serious consequences for the distal tissue served by the occluded vessel.
KeywordsBalloon Catheter Rheumatic Heart Disease Common Femoral Artery Color Plate Deep Femoral Artery
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