antemortem thromboembolusA blood clot that is pathologically significant, having been formed before death. Such clots are firm, brittle, matte, and have ridged surfaces corresponding to fibrin layering. Older thromboemboli are often grey and red in patches, and seem as though they were cast in the large vessel from whence they came. Longer thromboemboli unravel, suggesting an upstream origin in leg veins; side branches, or stumps thereof, do not correspond to the pulmonary arterial branches in which they are found. Postmortem lung slices show red casts extruding from vessels on the cut surface, which look like bloody toothpaste.
Segen's Medical Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.