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Pulmonary embolism, angiogram

Pulmonary embolism, angiogram

M175/0431

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Credit

SOVEREIGN, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SOVEREIGN, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Pulmonary embolism. Coloured frontal chest X-ray angiogram of a pulmonary embolism in the right lower lung. An embolism occurs when an abnormal blood clot (thrombus) blocks a blood vessel, in this case a pulmonary artery. A radio-opaque contrast medium has been injected to show the location of the blockage (lower centre). Smaller emboli may cause shortness of breath, dizziness and chest pain. Larger clots can be fatal, as the blood is quickly starved of oxygen. Thrombolytic drugs can be used to break up a thrombus, and anticoagulant drugs may help prevent the formation of others. If a thrombus is large, it may have to be surgically removed.

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