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A 59-year-old male asked:

what is the clinical significance of a blood clot in a vein vs. a blood clot in an artery?

2 doctor answers2 doctors weighed in
Dr. James Ferguson
Pediatrics 46 years experience
outcome: A clot in an artery prevents blood flow to an area and if persistent, that area will begin to go through cell death.(gangrene) a clot in a vein can back up blood flow but the effect is less worrisome. If the clot breaks free it can travel through the heart to the lungs and cause part of the lung to be blocked.The bigger the clot, the more the effect.
Dr. John Landi
Phlebology 47 years experience
Big difference: A blood clot in an artery results in less or no blood going to the area that the artery supplies. This has the potential to result in loss of a limb or even death. A blood clot in a vein can occur in a superficial or a deep vein. These are usually treated with local care or blood thinners. Clots in both arteries and veins could be serious problems.

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Last updated Nov 21, 2013
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