Embolism is a blood circulation disorder caused by obstruction of the vessel by thrombus emboli originating from different parts of the body or outside body.


Classification due to:

a) type - simple embolism (embolism rider) and atypical (hybrid and reverse embolis);

b) the type of embolic material:

• thrombus (mainly due to atrial fibrillation),

• thrombosis of biological material (bacteria - often from infected

• fragments of tumors,

• atherosclerotic plaques,

• cholesterol crystals,

• bone marrow cells,

• liver cells (after massive liver necrosis and extensive parenchymal injury),

• amniotic fluid (after complicated childbirth),

• fat droplets (after the fracture with vascular damage, injected intravenously oily liquid),

• air (iatrogenic - craniotomy in the sitting position, accidental injection of air into the veins, injury - disruption of the pulmonary parenchyma, childbirth),

• nitrogen (caisson disease).


They depend on location of embolus; the most popular types are:

a) embolism of arteries supplying limbs (as a result - hypoxic area);

b) embolism of arteries supplying the central nervous system (the main cause is severe atherosclerosis, as a result - ischemic stroke);

c) embolism of amniotic fluid (occurs with complicated childbirth, the fluid gets into the veins of the uterus - it contains a lot of tissue thromboplastin activating coagulation – as a result - DIC).


a) prevention - preventing states which are accompanied by increased risk of thrombosis (venous thromboembolism, atrial fibrillation, immobility) and the administration of anticoagulants to people in some situations (e.g. after heart valve replacement);

b) surgical - embolectomy (cutting artery and mechanical removing embolic material), it is not possible in every situation.

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