Arterial thrombosis

What is Arterial Thrombosis?

Arterial thrombosis is a health condition in which a blood clot forms inside of a blood vessel or artery, typically due to a break or disruption with the normal flow of blood. In some cases, these clots can become bigger, obstructing the blood flow and leading to serious health complications.

What Causes Arterial Thrombosis?

Arterial thrombosis is generally caused by an injury or trauma to the artery, or by an alteration in the chemical makeup and properties of the blood itself. In some cases, specific underlying medical conditions can also increase the risk of developing arterial thrombosis.

Common Risk Factors of Arterial Thrombosis

Being aware of risk factors is key to avoiding arterial thrombosis:

  • Atherosclerosis: This is a condition where fatty deposits accumulate in the arteries, narrowing them and reducing blood flow.
  • Smoking: Nicotine and other chemicals in cigarettes constrict the blood vessels, increasing the risk of blood clots.
  • Inactivity or bed rest: Prolonged inactivity can reduce circulation.
  • Certain medical conditions: Diabetic, high cholesterol, obesity, heart disease, and high blood pressure are all associated with a higher risk of developing a blood clot.
  • Surgery: Surgical procedures may increase the chance of developing arterial thrombosis.
  • Birth control: Certain types of birth control are linked to increased risk of clotting.
  • Age: Generally, the risk of developing a blood clot can increase with age.

Symptoms of Arterial Thrombosis

The most common symptom of arterial thrombosis is a sudden, severe pain in the affected area. Other symptoms can include:

  • A feeling of warmth in the affected area
  • Redness and swelling in the area
  • Discolored skin in the affected area
  • A weakened pulse in the affected area
  • Numbness, tingling, or coldness in the affected area

Diagnosis and Treatment of Arterial Thrombosis

In order to diagnose a potential case of arterial thrombosis, a healthcare professional will review the patient's medical history and may perform a physical examination. Additional tests, such as an ultrasound, may be used to confirm the diagnosis. Treatment will depend on the severity of the condition and may include medications, such as anticoagulants and anti-platelet drugs, as well as manual removal of the clot (thrombectomy). In some cases, surgery may be necessary to repair or replace the affected artery.