CNRI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CNRI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Pulmonary artery blood clot, gross specimen. An abnormal blood clot (thrombus, brown, centre) has blocked most of the lumen of the artery. The pulmonary artery carries blood from the heart to the lungs so that it can be replenished with oxygen. A blockage such as this can be swiftly fatal. Thrombi usually form due to an underlying disorder such as atherosclerosis, high blood pressure (hypertension) or a blood infection (septicaemia). If the condition is detected early, anticoagulant and thrombolytic drugs can help to break up the clot. Emergency surgery can also be performed to remove a dangerous clot.
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