ALFRED PASIEKA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ALFRED PASIEKA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Thrombus. Computer illustration of a cross- section through a vein in the leg of a patient with a thrombus (an abnormal blood clot). The thrombus is orange within the pink walls of the vein. It has almost completely blocked the vein, which has a small section of its lumen still visible (white). The thrombus is made of blood cells trapped inside a network of fibres of the insoluble protein fibrin. Thrombi form inside intact blood vessels due to an abnormal increase in clotting tendency of the blood. This is often caused by atherosclerosis. Thrombi can block blood vessels or break off and be carried to the brain or lungs, with potentially fatal results.
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