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Blood clots

Definition

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.

Alternative Names

Clot; Emboli; Thrombi; Hypercoagulable state

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:

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.



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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