What is a thromboembolism? Why is it dangerous?


Thromboembolism is an acute blockage of vital blood vessels by a blood clot that has entered the circulating blood. The consequence of this process can be deep vein thrombosis, ischemic stroke, myocardial infarction, and other equally serious disorders. And during pregnancy, blood clots can pose a threat to the life of both the mother and the fetus. 


Why do blood clots form?

The process of thrombosis is triggered by slowing down the blood flow in the veins of the lower extremities, damage and disruption of the function of the vascular wall, as well as with increased blood clotting ability, that is, thrombophilia.

- Hereditary predisposition plays an important role in the development of thrombophilia. Changes in the structure of the genes of the blood clotting system, responsible for maintaining a constant level of its fluidity, can increase the risk of thrombosis tenfold.


- Another important factor predisposing to thrombophilia is an increased level of homocysteine, an intermediate product of folic acid (vitamin B9) metabolism. Due to disorders in the genes of folic acid metabolism, the predominance of meat in food, or other reasons, homocysteine accumulates in the blood plasma and has a toxic effect on the vessel wall, leading to increased clotting and thrombosis.


Genetic analysis of the blood coagulation system genes and assessment of the level of homocysteine in plasma are recommended for:


* massive surgical interventions;

* prolonged immobilization after surgery;

* smoking;

* increased body weight;

* cardiovascular diseases (varicose veins of the lower extremities,

hypertension, atrial fibrillation, atherosclerosis, etc.);

* oncological diseases;

* when taking combined oral contraceptives and hormone replacement therapy.


It is also mandatory to consult with a specialist when:


* thrombosis in relatives (heart attacks, ischemic strokes, thromboembolism);

* single thrombosis before the age of 50 or multiple thrombosis;

* pregnancy planning;

* complicated obstetric history.


The data obtained as a result of a comprehensive molecular genetic analysis of the blood coagulation system genes and an assessment of the level of homocysteine will allow us to assess the risk of developing various diseases. Knowing about the hereditary predisposition, it becomes possible to take timely measures to prevent diseases, and, consequently, to reduce the likelihood of complications.


GBUZ Moscow Clinical Scientific Center named after Loginov MHD