Thromboembolism: Symptoms and Treatment

Thromboembolism or thromboembolic syndrome is not a single disease, but a symptom complex that develops when a blood clot forms in a vessel or a dribbling of blood, lymph, or air in them. As a result of this pathological condition, heart attacks, strokes or gangrene develop. Thromboembolism can affect the vessels of the brain, heart, intestines, lungs or lower limbs.

Thromboembolism, as a rule, arises sharply and suddenly. It is this feature of this condition that is the main cause of death or disability of patients, as sometimes doctors simply do not have time to provide the necessary assistance to the patient.


The main cause of the development of this pathological condition is a thrombus, which detached from the vessel wall. It functions as a «stopper» — it blocks the flow of blood. Ischemia develops in a bloody place.

Risk Factors:

  • taking medications that increase blood viscosity;
  • finding a long time in one position, after which there is a sharp rise. For example, a long trip, a postoperative period;
  • hypertension
  • stroke;
  • hypertensive crises
  • heart failure;
  • varicose veins. In the enlarged veins of the lower extremities, there are excellent conditions for the formation of clots or stagnation of the blood. In this case, there is a question of venous thromboembolism
  • various surgical interventions
  • malignant neoplasms;
  • burns, bleeding and frostbite.

Types of thromboembolism

  1. thromboembolism of cerebral vessels
  2. vessels in the lungs (pulmonary arteries)
  3. lower limb arteries;
  4. mesenteric arteries;

A particular type of embolism is amniotic fluid.

Thromboembolic syndrome in the brain vessels

The most common thromboembolism of cerebral vessels. Most pathology affects the elderly. It progresses against a background of hypertension, atherosclerosis.

The most common occurrence of a clot occurs after sleep or during it. Signs of progression of pathology are weakly expressed or may not be manifested at all. Patients are conscious, but they are observed:

  • Disorientation
  • increased drowsiness;
  • Stunnedness

Focal neurological symptoms for a long time does not manifest. Symptoms grow very slowly. Sometimes it takes from several hours to several days. Symptoms largely depend on the basin of the vessel that has been plugged, the state of the circulation, and the vastness of the stroke. It is worth noting the important fact, absolutely in all cases with thromboembolism of the brain vessels, the cerebellar and meningeal syndrome is formed.

Thromboembolism of pulmonary arteries

Primary thrombus formation in the lungs is rare. As a rule, it can move to the lungs from the heart, upper or lower vena cava.

The most dangerous for the life of the patient are the floating thrombi, which are connected to the venous wall by their own ends. Such a thrombus can easily come off. Most often this happens in nat. Load, cough and so on. Symptoms of thromboembolism are immediate. In most clinical situations death occurs.

The main signs of progression of pathology:

  1. impaired consciousness
  2. respiratory failure
  3. hypoxia
  4. hypertension

Less dynamic development of thromboembolism of small branches of the pulmonary artery. The duration of development of the pathological process in the lungs ranges from several hours to several days. The following signs of ailment occur:

  • pain, which in character resemble angina pectoris. This symptom is important to distinguish from true angina pectoris. With the development of thromboembolism in the lungs, the pain does not radiate to the left arm and shoulder blade;
  • shortness of breath;
  • often there is another warning sign — hemoptysis
  • tachypnoe
  • Blood pressure decreases
  • tachycardia
  • Arrhythmia.

Lesion of limb arteries

In this case, the blood clot moves to the peripheral arteries from the proximal parts of the circulatory system. The clinical picture of thromboembolism of the upper and lower extremities largely depends on the state of blood flow in the limb.

Thromboembolism in the abdominal artery leads to a one-sided lesion of the limbs. Absence of pulsation can be over the entire surface of the lower extremities. If the blood clot has clogged the vessel even lower, then in this case the level is specified by the total absence of the pulse in certain places of the lower limb.

Clinicians distinguish three degrees of impaired blood flow in the lower limbs:

  1. relative compensation. In this case, the pains disappear rather quickly, the sensitivity and functionality of the lower extremities also will soon be restored
  2. subcompensation. The viability of the tissues of the lower limbs is maintained at the expense of the maximum blood flow stress. Symptoms: severe pain, skin pale and cold;
  3. decompensation. The outcome of this condition depends on the duration of ischemia. Ischemia has 3 phases. On the first, all the changes are reversible. There are pains in the limbs, which also soon pass, the skin is pale, movements are preserved. At the second stage, irreversible changes in soft tissues gradually increase. To the clinic indicated above, joint stiffness is also attached. The third stage is irreversible changes.

Thromboembolism of mesenteric arteries

This state is rare. Diagnosis of the disease before the operation is difficult. Most often, patients with this disease go to the hospital with a diagnosis of «peritonitis.» The main symptom is the severe pain in the abdomen. In this case, there is periietal symptomatology.

Embolism with amniotic fluid

Embolism with amniotic fluid is also one of the specific varieties of thromboembolism. In this case, amniotic fluid acts as a substrate blocking blood vessels.

Embolism with amniotic fluid is a serious and dangerous complication in pregnancy and childbirth, which develops as a result of amniotic fluid entering the bloodstream. In this case, the following symptoms are observed:

  • loss of consciousness
  • pallor of the skin;
  • chills;
  • shallow breathing;
  • cramps;
  • cyanosis of the lips, skin, limbs
  • cough;
  • blood pressure reduction
  • the pulse is frequent, bugged with difficulty
  • cramps;
  • massive bleeding.

Embolism with amniotic fluid is an extremely dangerous condition for both the mother and the fetus. If the amniotic fluid enters the bloodstream, the patient is required to immediately provide medical care, as this can even lead to death.

The main causes of embolism by amniotic fluid are:

  1. polyhydramnios (there is too much amniotic fluid)
  2. Multiple pregnancy (frequent cause of embolism with amniotic fluid)
  3. abnormalities of labor,
  4. rigidity of the cervix
  5. inappropriate stimulation of labor.


Considering how dangerous and complicated this condition is, and also those factors and ailments that provoked its appearance, treatment is carried out strictly in stationary conditions. When the first symptoms appear, the patient should immediately seek qualified medical attention. Only a doctor will be able to conduct a thorough diagnosis and prescribe the correct course of treatment.

The doctor will prescribe the treatment on the basis of the peculiarities of the course of the disease, the site of localization of ischemia. As a rule, first resort to conservative methods of treatment. The patient is placed in a hospital and a strict bed rest is prescribed. Prescribed drugs that improve blood flow — anticoagulants and thrombolytic drugs, as well as antispastic drugs aimed at reducing the occurrence of spasms.

If conservative treatment of the results did not bring, then a surgical procedure is performed.

In fact, thromboembolism is a dangerous disease that is not so easily treatable. For example, if the femoral artery is affected, then any treatment will be ineffective — only limb amputation is performed.

However, if you react quickly and immediately and correctly and properly treated, then there is a great chance that the blood circulation will recover in the affected area.


Preventive maintenance of thromboembolism includes the following measures:

  • timely treatment of cardiovascular diseases;
  • strengthening the immune system
  • correct day mode and power mode
  • play sports

  • Regularly undergo preventive examinations with specialists