What happens to coronary artery blood clots over time?
After a blood clot developes in a coronary artery (after rupture of plaque and a crack on the inner artery wall), and that clot causes only partial blockage, what normally happens to that clot without treatment over time. Does it stabilize, continue to grow indefinately, or dissolve away as the artery crack heals?
A blood clot that develops in a coronary artery is called a thrombosis. If a blood clot develops in one of these arteries, the blood supply to that area of the heart muscle will stop. This is known as a heart attack, or in medical terms a coronary thrombosis or myocardial infarction.
A heart attack will cause severe chest pains behind the breast bone, often radiating towards the left arm.
If the blockage (thrombosis) is not dissolved quickly with medication, the area of heart muscle that isn't getting enough oxygen will stop working properly.
(Information for this post was copied from the following source material http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/diseases/facts/coronarythrombosis.htm)
Quote: "what normally happens to that clot without treatment over time. Does it stabilize, continue to grow indefinately, or dissolve away as the artery crack heals?"
Blood clots can form even when a person has not been injured. As an example, if the heart beats very slowly blood can pool and form clots. Although most blood clots tend to dissolve on their own with no long-term problems, there are situations in which blood clots can cause medical problems. Blood clots become dangerous when they block blood flow through an artery or vein. The clots can go into the lungs (pulmonary emboli), can occlude vessels to the brain causing a stroke, block coronary arteries causing a heart attack, etc.
"Medications such as anticoagulants (which help prevent blood clots) and clot busters (which help to dissolve blood clots) are prescribed to prevent and treat blood clots. In more serious situations, physicians might opt for a catheter-based procedure, which uses a long, thin tube called a catheter, or even surgery to remove the clot (thrombectomy). In addition, devices may be implanted into certain blood vessels to catch blood clots before they can cause serious damage."
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