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Case 1, image 1: This 29 year old man died of a gunshot wound of the head. He progressed to brain death and was an organ and tissue donor. He likely developed these emboli as he lay obtunded in the hospital. Note the thrombus within a large pulmonary artery.

Case 1, image 2: The fibrin and red blood cells are layering out (lines of Zahn).

Case 2, image 1: This 32-year-old man, died of a gunshot wound of the head. So, yet another case where the thrombus (organizing and only partially occluding in this case) had nothing to do with the cause of death.

Case 2, image 2: An organizing thrombus within the pulmonary artery.

Case 3, image 1: This 52-year-old man died of complications of cerebral hypoxic ischemic injury. He was hospitalized for several weeks after a right-sided middle cerebral artery stroke. Autopsy revealed bilateral occlusive proximal pulmonary artery thromboemboli.

Case 3, image 2: Sections of the clot demonstrate lines of Zahn.


Risk factors include prolonged immobility, increased age, recent surgery, inherited factors, medical conditions (i.e. pregnancy, heart disease, cancer), and certain lifestyle factors (i.e. smoking, obesity).

Last updated: 2013-10-22
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