paradoxical embolism

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par·a·dox·i·cal em·bo·lism

1. obstruction of a systemic artery by an embolus originating in the venous system that passes through a septal defect, patent foramen ovale, or other shunt to the arterial system;
2. obstruction by a minute embolism that passes through the pulmonary capillaries from the venous to the arterial system.
Synonym(s): crossed embolism

paradoxical embolism

Embolism arising from the venous circulation that enters the arterial circulation by crossing from the right side of the heart to the left side through a patent foramen ovale or septal defect. It may occasionally cause stroke in a patient with a deep venous thrombosis.
See also: embolism