thrombosis summary

Thrombosis is a disease characterized by the formation of clots inside blood vessels. These clots, also called thrombi, can form in veins or arteries and break free, clogging other vessels in the body. The most common type of thrombosis is deep vein thrombosis. Arterial thrombosis can cause myocardial infarction and stroke . Another important condition is pulmonary embolism .
In Europe, about 1.5 million people have the disease, which results in more than 500,000 deaths per year. In the US, the number of affected reaches 2.6 million. In Brazil, about 170,000 patients have the disease, and 40% of these do not know how to identify the symptoms. The main causes of thrombosis are changes in blood clotting (a condition known as hypercoabulation), changes in hemodynamics (blood flow) and damage to vessels.

Changes in blood clotting can be caused by situations such as smoking, obesity, use of hormonal contraceptives, pregnancy and genetic inheritance.
Symptoms are difficult to detect, which makes the disease very dangerous. When they appear they can be pain and swelling in the lower limbs, redness and heat. Thrombosis can manifest itself in different veins of the cardiovascular system, such as the carotid, coronary, veins of the lower limbs, etc.
The diagnosis is usually made by analyzing the symptoms and imaging the inside of the blood vessels.

Thrombosis, when uncontrolled, results in serious consequences, such as post-embolism syndrome, swelling, increased infections, pulmonary embolism and death. The objective of the treatment is to reduce the formation of thrombi or break them, with the use of anticoagulants, such as warfarin and enoxaparin.

Medicinal plants, such as witch hazel , and homeopathic products, such as Bothrops, help fluidize the blood and prevent stagnation.

It is important that you correctly follow the medical guidelines regarding taking the medication to avoid consequences such as bleeding. Always try to move and practice exercises to help blood flow. Avoiding overweight and smoking are important measures to prevent thrombosis.


Thrombosis is a condition in which a blood clot (thrombus) forms at a particular point in a vein or artery. The formation of a blood clot usually happens when we cut ourselves, as part of the healing process. However, some people are predisposed to thrombus formation without any injury. These people suffer from what we call thromboembolic disease.

There are two different types of thrombosis according to where the clot forms: venous thrombosis and arterial thrombosis.

The most common type of venous thrombosis is deep vein thrombosis (DVT) which occurs in deep veins located in the muscles of the leg and pelvis. The clot can release pieces that clog other blood vessels. If the vessels in the lung become blocked, what we call pulmonary embolism occurs , a very serious condition that can lead to death. Within venous thrombosis one can also include superficial thrombophlebitis.

In arterial thrombosis, clots can break off and clog arteries in the heart or brain, causing a heart attack and stroke .

Other types of thrombosis are: Renal vein thrombosis, Portal vein thrombosis, Hepatic vein thrombosis, Paget-Schroetter syndrome, Thoracic outlet syndrome, etc.


About 1.5 million cases of thrombosis are registered annually in Europe, and more than half a million of these end up dying from the disease. In the United States, according to the American Heart Association, the number of people affected by thrombosis is 2.6 million a year.

In Brazil, research indicates that diseases of the circulatory system (including thrombosis) are in third place in terms of incidence. Despite its importance, thrombosis has not received due attention and studies indicate that more than 40% of Brazilians do not know the symptoms of the disease. In Brazil, about 170 thousand people suffer from the disease.

With regard to pulmonary embolism, the disease is responsible for about 50,000 deaths per year in the United States. Up to 10% of all hospital deaths are a direct result of pulmonary embolism. In Brazil, according to data from the Ministry of Health, between 2009 and 2010, 21.9% of hospitalized patients with pulmonary embolism died. It is estimated that pulmonary embolism is responsible for 4% of the total number of deaths in hospitals.


Thrombosis is caused by excessive formation of clots (thrombi) in the blood . stroke ).

The causes of thrombosis can be:

– Generalized infection or sepsis;

– Damage to the inner wall of vessels;

– Reduction in the speed of blood circulation, which usually occurs in people with many varicose veins;

– Prolonged rest, especially after orthopedic surgeries;

– Genetic factors that lead to a condition known as hypercoagulability;

– Cancer, as many patients with malignant neoplasms present hypercoagulability;

– heart failure ;

– An injection (of a medicine, etc.);

– Smoking;

– Varicose Veins ;

– Use of certain medications, such as contraceptives.

Thrombosis and contraceptives

Attention for the use of contraceptive pills based on drospirenone.

The FDA (United States drug regulatory agency) has discussed the safety of drugs containing the substance drospirenone. Of the 26 board members, 15 voted in favor of keeping the pill on the market. According to experts, drugs with this substance can even triple the risk of clot formation when compared to pills with levonorgestrel. In addition to the risk of thrombosis, there is also the risk of heart attack and stroke, especially in women under 35. FDA data showed that at least 190 women died after taking drospirenone-based pills, many of whom were not at risk for developing thrombosis. Drugs containing this substance will remain on the market, however, new studies and product safety data must be conducted.

Groups of risk

The main risk groups for thrombosis are:

– Patients with genetic problems that lead to hypercoagulability of the blood or with changes in vessel walls.

– Patients with a family history of thrombosis or pulmonary thromboembolism

– Patients with irritable bowel syndrome .

– Patients who have already had heart failure, as in this case the heart cannot pump blood adequately to the body and this increases the chance of blood pooling and clotting.

– People who sit for long periods or without mobility, such as after surgeries, as blood can stagnate in the vessels.

– People with large varicose veins.

– Patients with cancer .

– Obese people , as being overweight increases pressure in the vessels and can trigger thrombosis.

– Pregnant women, as pregnancy increases pressure and vessels in the pelvis and legs.

– Women who use contraceptives, as the use of female hormones alters blood clotting.

– Women who use hormone replacement therapy.

– Smokers, as cigarettes affect blood clotting. Caution: passive smoking also increases the risk of developing thrombosis.

– Elderly people, as increasing age leads to an increased risk of thrombosis.

– Very tall people, as they are more likely to have circulatory problems.


Thrombosis is a particularly dangerous disease, as in many cases it happens silently, with high chances of complications and high lethality. Likewise, pulmonary embolism can happen without warning. Below are the main symptoms of thrombosis and pulmonary embolism:

ThrombosisPulmonary Embolism
Pain and swelling in the feet and legs (leg thrombosis)Sudden shortness of breath with no apparent cause
ankle edemaFeeling dizzy and faint
Changes in skin color, which may appear pale, reddish or even bluishDiscomfort in the chest region or pain in the chest, usually accompanied by heavy sweating
Heat in the affected regionfast heartbeat
Strengthening the leg musculaturecoughing up blood
Formation of painful nodules in varicose veinsFeeling anxious and nervous

If you or someone you know has the above symptoms, seek medical attention immediately, as pulmonary embolism is a life-threatening condition.


Thrombosis is difficult to diagnose because it is a silent disease in many cases. If the doctor suspects the disease, he may order some tests to prove the presence of thrombi in the blood vessels. These exams can be:

– Doppler exam, which allows you to visualize blood circulation in the vessels

– Phlebography: an X-ray of the veins after injection of a contrast solution

– Ultrasound: allows checking the presence of thrombi in the vessels

– Blood tests: allow you to check for the presence of blood clotting components

– Imaging tests: include computed tomography and nuclear magnetic resonance imaging. Allows visualization of vessels and the presence of clots


The complications of thrombosis are quite severe. Once a blood vessel is clogged it can no longer carry blood, nutrients and oxygen to the organs and thus the tissue dies. The veins that are blocked cannot carry blood back to the heart and the neighboring vessels are overloaded, dilated and become insufficient. This condition is called post-embolic syndrome and can result in wounds, severe infections, and swelling.

Another important complication is clogging of other vessels in other parts of the body, such as the heart, brain and lungs. See below the table with the complications that thrombosis can cause depending on the affected organ:

OrganIt is made
Heartmyocardial infarction
Lungpulmonary embolism
Other organsIschemia and tissue death
Limbs (legs and arms)Depending on the extent of thrombosis, it can lead to necrosis and amputation.

Pulmonary embolism is essentially fatal and leads to the death of 1/3 of patients when left untreated. The risk of myocardial infarction and stroke are very high in patients with thrombosis.

It is important to see a doctor immediately if you suspect thrombosis, as complications are life-threatening. If you have a family history of thrombosis, always talk to your doctor for regular checkups.


The treatment for thrombosis consists of preventing the formation of thrombi, preventing new ones from forming and dissolving them if they appear. In this case, the most commonly used drugs are the so-called anticoagulants.

Anticoagulants reduce the blood’s ability to clot and form thrombi. They do not dissolve the thrombus, but prevent new ones from forming. Three well-known drugs of this class are heparin, enoxaparin and warfarin. It is important that these drugs are taken strictly according to medical guidelines, as they can have serious consequences such as bleeding and bleeding, in addition to interacting with several other drugs. A new anticoagulant is rivaroxaban, a drug that acts specifically on the factor Xa of clot formation.

Vitamin K antagonists, antiplatelet agents such as acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin), clopidogrel and thrombolytic agents can also be used in cases of thrombosis.

Another class of drugs are those that dissolve clots, such as tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA), given intravenously. This drug can also cause severe bleeding, so it requires constant monitoring.

If the patient cannot use medication, a filter can be inserted into a large vein, such as the vena cava, to prevent the thrombus that breaks off from clogging the vessels of other organs. These filters are often referred to as “umbrellas”. Other options are pneumatic massagers that make it possible to reactivate blood circulation.

In case of emergency the doctor may perform an operation called thrombectomy (removal of the thrombus).

Herbal medicine

Some medicinal plants have benefits in improving blood circulation, fluidizing it and irrigating regions. Some are:

– Witch hazel

– white clover

– linden

– Indian chestnut

– Visco

Many of these plants act by reducing the viscosity of the blood and acting on the resistance of the vessels. It is important to use them under medical guidance.


Some tips help the patient to control and live with thrombosis. If you suffer from the disease, adopt some practices:

– Always talk to your doctor about your treatment if you think you need a change in medication.

– Watch if you take in a lot of vitamin K, as they interfere with oral anticoagulants. Vitamin K is present in leafy greens, soybeans and canola.

– If you have a predisposition to thrombosis, adopt some lifestyle changes, such as weight loss and smoking cessation.

– Be aware of excessive bleeding if you use any anticoagulants. Avoid cutting yourself or engaging in activities that injure your skin.

– Use the medicines that the doctor has indicated to you in the correct way. Any change can result in consequences such as bleeding or clots.


Here are some prevention tips for thrombosis:

– Practice exercises, movement, especially in the lower limbs, helps with blood flow and prevents it from clotting.

– Try to move whenever you need to sit for a long time (like on a flight) or lie down (like in a hospital bed). If you are unable to do this yourself, ask someone to help you, such as a physiotherapist or nurse, to get your legs moving. This prevents blood from pooling.

– If you are bedridden for a long time, do physical therapy exercises to prevent blood stagnation.

– Combat obesity .

– Avoid smoking , including passive smoking.

– Use compression stockings to massage the lower limbs and prevent blood from running out of circulation.

– For women: if you have a family history of thrombosis, avoid using female hormone-based medications, such as contraceptives or replacement hormones. Seek alternatives and talk to your doctor.

– Avoid high blood pressure and control your cholesterol levels . They avoid several cardiovascular diseases, such as thrombosis and heart attacks .

– Treat varicose veins, they are a risk factor for thrombus development.

Jeanne Kenney
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I’m a stylist trainer, a content creator, and an entrepreneur passion. Virgo sign and Pisces ascendant, I move easily between my dreams, the crazy world I want, and my feet on the ground to carry out my projects.

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