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Crossed Embolization (Paradoxical Embolism) Print E-mail

Dr. Kennedy Passage of a clot (thrombus) from a vein to an artery is called crossed embolization. When clots in veins break off (embolize), they travel first to the right side of the heart and then, normally, to the lungs where they lodge. The lungs act as a filter to prevent the clots from entering the arterial circulation. However, when there is a hole in the wall between the two upper chambers of the heart (an atrial septal defect), or the lower chambers (a ventricular septal defect) a clot can cross from the right to the left side of the heart, then passing out the aorta and into the arterial system. Once in the arterial circulation, a clot can travel to the brain, block a vessel there, and cause a stroke (cerebrovascular accident). Because of the risk of stroke from crossed embolism, it is usually recommended that even small atrial septal defects be closed (repaired). Also called: paradoxical embolism.



The information in this article is not meant to be medical advice.�Treatment for a medical condition should come at the recommendation of your personal physician.

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