What Is Arterial Thrombosis?

Arterial Thrombosis is a thrombosis that occurs specifically in the arteries. Understanding thrombosis itself is a disease that occurs due to the formation of blood clots ( thrombus ) in the blood vessels. Thrombus can form in any vessel, whether in the arteries or veins. When the arteries are blocked, the tissue that requires blood flow from the arteries will be damaged and death. Therefore, arterial thrombosis is classified as medical emergency.

The formed thrombus can be released and carried along with blood flow to smaller blood vessels and cause blockage (embolism). This condition is called thromboembolism. One already formed thrombus can rupture and cause more than one embolism in the body. Arterial thrombosis can also occur in coronary arteries that drain blood to the heart muscle tissue. Arterial thrombosis occurring in coronary arteries can lead to heart attacks. While arterial thrombosis that occurs in the blood vessels of the brain, can cause stroke.

Symptoms of Arterial Thrombosis
Symptoms of arterial thrombosis are often not felt until blood clots clog the vessels to certain parts of the body. This condition can trigger the occurrence of diseases such as:
  • Critical limb ischaemic . Is a peripheral arterial disease that occurs due to blockage of the arteries in the limbs, especially the limbs, which is marked by pain, changes in the color of the legs become pale, and the limb feels colder.
  • Stroke.Stroke can occur when the arteries to the brain blocked. Symptoms that generally feel is the face looks not symmetrical, talk pelo, and feel weak on one side of the limb.
  • Heart attack. Heart attacks can occur due to blockage of coronary arteries that provide blood and nutrients to the heart muscle. Symptoms that are generally felt are chest pain, shortness of breath, and dizzy.
  • Mild stroke or TIA (transient ischaemic attack). TIA is a disease that occurs due to arterial blood vessels to the temporary blocked brain which causes temporary stroke symptoms.

Causes of Arterial Thrombosis
Arterial thrombosis often occurs in patients with atherosclerosis , the thickening of the arteries due to fat accumulation. The accumulation of fat that occurs causes the arteries to harden and narrow, making it easier to block blood vessels. Arterial thrombosis can also occur in a person whose blood is easily agglomerated as in patients with atrial fibrillation or antiphospholipid syndrome.

Some things that can increase the risk of someone suffering from arterial thrombosis or atherosclerosis, among others are:
  • Smoke.
  • Obesity .
  • Unhealthy diet.
  • Has a family with a history of atherosclerosis.
  • Suffering from high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes .
  • Alcohol dependence .
  • Elderly.
  • Lack of physical activity.
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Diagnosis of Arterial Thrombosis
To diagnose arterial thrombosis in a patient, the doctor will check the patient's medical history and perform a physical examination. After that, further examination can be done to diagnose arterial thrombosis, such as:
  • Blood test. Blood tests in patients with arterial thrombosis aims to observe the ability of blood clots.
  • Ultrasonography. The ultrasound examination aims to observe the blood flow in arteries that are suspected of having a blockage.
  • MRI, CT scan, and MRA. These three methods of examination can locate the occurrence of the occlusion of blood vessels, as well as the type and cause of blockages that occur.

Treatment of Arterial Thrombosis
Some things that doctors will consider when recommending this type of treatment to arterial thrombosis patients are:
  • Patient age.
  • Conditions and medical history of patients.
  • The severity of the disease.
  • The effectiveness of the treatment methods provided.
  • Estimated disease progression, whether it will get worse or not.
Treatment methods that doctors may recommend to patients include:
  • Provision of drugs. Some types of drugs that can be given to overcome arterial thrombosis are:
    • Anticoagulants and antiplatelets (eg warfarin, aspirin , clopidogrel, or heparin ) to prevent blood clots.
    • Thrombolytics (eg streptokinase ) to destroy blood clots.
    • Painkillers.
  • Surgery. This procedure aims to open blockage of the arteries due to thrombosis. Surgical methods that can be applied are:
    • Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) or heart bypass surgery . This method can be done to overcome thrombosis in the coronary arteries. CABG is done by taking blood vessels from other body parts, then made a graft artery to pass through the coronary arteries are clogged.
    • Embolectomy. Embolectomy is a method of treating arterial thrombosis to remove clots of blood in clogged vessels. This method can be done by using catheter balloons or open surgery.
    • Angioplasty Angioplasty is a method of opening blocked arteries by using catheter balloons. Clogged vessels will be dilated using a catheter, then stents can be mounted to keep the artery open when needed.

Complications of Arterial Thrombosis
The healing rate of patients with arterial thrombosis depends on the location of artery blockage, as well as how many arteries are blocked. If left untreated, tissue damage due to clogged arteries can become permanent and risk of amputation .

Prevention of Arterial Thrombosis
To prevent and reduce the risk of arterial thrombosis, steps that can be done, among others are:
  • Quit smoking.
  • Reduce alcohol consumption.
  • Routine exercise.
  • Keeping your weight is ideal.
  • Keep your diet healthy and balanced.
Especially for people at high risk of arterial thrombosis, can be recommended by doctors to take drugs such as:
  • Statins, to deal with high cholesterol, such as atorvastatin or simvastatin .
  • Antihypertensive, to reduce blood pressure .
  • Anticoagulants and antiplatelets, to reduce the risk of blood clots forming.

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