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Arterial embolism

  • Prevention

    Prevention begins with identifying the source of the blood clot. If your health care provider determines you have a high risk for blood clots, you may be prescribed blood thinners (such as warfarin or Coumadin) to prevent them from forming. Antiplatelet drugs may also be needed.

    The risk for both atherosclerosis and clot formation increases in persons who:

    • Are inactive and do little exercise
    • Are overweight
    • Are under stress
    • Smoke

    Taking steps to reduce hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis) may reduce your risk of an arterial embolus forming from a piece of plaque.


    Clagett GP, Sobel M, Jackson MR, Lip GY, Tangelder M, Verhaeghe R. Antithrombotic therapy in peripheral arterial occlusive disease: the Seventh ACCP Conference on Antithrombotic and Thrombolytic Therapy. Chest. 2004;126(3):609S-626S.

    Hirsch AT, Haskal ZJ, Hertzer NR, Bakal CW, Creager MA, Halperin JL, et al. ACC/AHA 2005 practice guidelines for the management of patients with peripheral arterial disease (lower extremity, renal, mesenteric, and abdominal aortic). Circulation. 2006;113:e463-e654.

    Goldman L. Approach to the patient wtih possible cardiovascular disease. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 48.