In artery blood flows with a pressure. When part of thrombus detaches it should flow along with the flow but it flows is retrograde manner.

  • $\begingroup$ Are you sure it does? Can you tell us where you learned this? $\endgroup$ – anongoodnurse Dec 22 '18 at 15:52
  • $\begingroup$ Yes it does. It is given in Asian edition of Robbins $\endgroup$ – Ketki Shah Dec 23 '18 at 16:12

I think you might be talking about Propagation of arterial thrombi.

Propagation is the increasing size of a thrombus and it occurs towards the heart, this is because thrombi are formed differently in veins vs arteries. In veins they form through the accumulation of fibrin and red blood cells whilst in arteries they form through the clumping of platelets.


Embolization is when the clot is removed from the circulatory wall and at this point it moves along with blood flow in both veins and arteries.

  • $\begingroup$ Yes I'm talking about propagation. But venous embolus flows along with blood flow. My question is why does arterial embolus propogate in retrograde manner instead of flowing along with the blood flow? $\endgroup$ – Ketki Shah Dec 23 '18 at 16:09
  • $\begingroup$ @KetkiShah - An embolus is different than a thrombus. What are you asking? The answer is correct that emboli flow with blood, not against. $\endgroup$ – anongoodnurse Dec 23 '18 at 16:55
  • $\begingroup$ From a bit of searching on the internet the general opinion appears to be that it is due to the fact that arterial thrombi are formed differently to venous ones. Arterial thrombi are caused by injury to the vascular wall, causing a clot of platelets to form at that point. These platelets begin to join the clot as they hit it, causing the clot to propagate retrograde (towards the direction the blood is coming from) Venous thrombi are caused by stasis of the blood flow, this causes the blood to coagulate at the point and gradually more fibrin and red blood cells collect onto this. $\endgroup$ – Maxmansung Dec 23 '18 at 20:58

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