DAVID GIFFORD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DAVID GIFFORD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Illustration of a coronary thrombosis: the form- ation of a thrombus (blood clot) within the coronary artery of the heart. Coronary thrombosis leads to a heart attack or myocardial infarction. In this artist's impression of the branched interior of the coronary artery network, red blood cells can be seen flowing through. However, at above right, a fibrous clot packed with blood cells and platelets has caused blockage. An occlu- ded (blocked) coronary artery will prevent oxygen- carrying blood from reaching parts of the heart muscle, leading to heart damage. Thrombi (clots) may also block arteries supplying the brain, legs, kidneys, and other areas of the body.
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