Health A-Z


Clinical Definition

Embolism refers to the occlusion of a blood vessel by an embolus (mass) that moves down the bloodstream and gets lodged in a blood vessel, causing circulation problems.

In Our Own Words

An embolism is when an embolus, which is a clump, bubble or mass, gets stuck in the bloodstream and causes a blockage. Embolisms are almost always from a blood clot but other types of emboli are also possible (a fat mass, a foreign body, etc.).

Perhaps the most significant and feared type of embolism is the pulmonary embolism (PE). In a PE, the blood clot typically forms in the veins of the legs, then breaks off and travels to the heart or lodges in the blood vessels of the lungs.

Symptoms and Side Effects

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