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Pulmonary embolism, X-ray

Pulmonary embolism, X-ray

M175/0364

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Credit

ZEPHYR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ZEPHYR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Pulmonary embolism. Coloured X-ray of the chest of a patient with a pulmonary embolism. This occurs when one of the pulmonary arteries is blocked, usually by an abnormal blood clot (thrombus). It can be swiftly fatal, as the blood becomes starved of oxygen. Smaller emboli may cause symptoms including shortness of breath, dizziness and chest pain. Thrombolytic drugs can be used to help break up a thrombus, and anticoagulant drugs can help prevent the formation of others. If a thrombus is large, it may have to be removed surgically.

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