embolus

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embolus

embolus (ĕmˈbələs), foreign matter circulating in and obstructing a blood vessel. It may be a portion of a clot that has separated from the wall of a vessel (see thrombosis), a bubble of gas or air (known as an air embolus), a globule of fat, a clump of bacterial matter, or a clump of tumor cells. It circulates freely through the vessels until it reaches one so small that it cannot go further. An embolus in one of the vessels leading to the lungs, brain, or heart, if large enough, can be fatal; in an arm or leg it may lead to gangrene and, ultimately, the need for amputation. Emergency surgical removal is usually the treatment of choice for a solid embolus. Otherwise, drugs that dilate the vessels and anticoagulants are indicated.
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embolus

[′em·bə·ləs]
(medicine)
A clot or other mass of particulate matter foreign to the bloodstream which lodges in a blood vessel and causes obstruction.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

embolus

material, such as part of a blood clot or an air bubble, that is transported by the blood stream until it becomes lodged within a small vessel and impedes the circulation
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005