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Discussion:
DVT, PE. Heart Attacks and Strokes
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One thing I have noticed is there is very little attention given to a second and third effect that DVT can have. We all know about PE but did any of you realize that clots can also travel to the brain and cause strokes? They can also lodge in the heart and cause the typical hearth attack. I will admit it' doesn't happen often but it does happen as I've had 2 of each of them so far (both heart attacks and strokes) Fortunately few and far between and pretty mild but still possible. I only mention this so you will be aware of the possibility.
As strange as it may seem it's the strokes that scare me the most. So long as I can get to my computer I can still work (web site development) but the thought of turning into a vegetable just really scares me.
Posted on 07/06/09, 03:05 am
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Reply #1 - 07/07/09  11:52pm
" You know, I have wondered about that too. Since my confirmed PE, I have something called essential tremor -my body shakes all over constantly -did that happen as a result of clot going to my brain? Earlier in my life, about a year before this PE, I began to notice having a hard time spitting out the words I wanted to use, and remembering peoples names. That has gotten worse, and now I frequently type the wrong letter and have to go back and correct things. I also have a heart arrythmia since the PE -is it from the blood backing up, or from part of the heart muscle not getting any oxygen? Guess I'll never know. I have the same fears though, as the one genetic clotting disorder that I have increases the chance of both venous and arterial clots. I'm there with you. Did you have the heart attacks and strokes while opn coumadin?
Blessings, Teri "
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Reply #2 - 07/08/09  12:54am
" no. I was off the coumadin the first time and not sure about the second one at all. I was in a bit of a daze at the time. The stroke I was on the meds. fortunately they were very mild and it's effects weren't that bad. just weird.It did eventually fade although the strength in my left arm has never completely returned but it's not bad. The pe is almost a constant for me but also very mild fortunately. I was seeing a pulmonologist for a while and all I did was upset him. After running ever test he could find or think of nothing fit. He was so sure that they could blame all my midical problems on my lungs and they were in great shap. He got mad and then moved to Ca. didn't bother me a bit to see him go.
all they can do for me currently is just maintainance so the dr's try to play with their pet ideas. They are always wrong. "
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Reply #3 - 07/08/09  3:20pm
" Many people are under the mistaken impression that DVT cannot be related to heart attack and stroke, but there is an explanation of how it can be in some individuals who have the left-right shunt (hole in the heart) at
http://www.airhealth.org/incidence.... .

There is no such thing as an ironclad rule that applies without exception. "
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Reply #4 - 07/08/09  3:25pm
" No hole or shunt but do have an enlarged left ventracal for whatever that's worth. fortunately it's been a few years since the last one. "
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Reply #5 - 07/09/09  2:55pm
" Just to expand on what MyMsBs stated,
No, a DVT does not cause heart attack or stroke. There are two main types of blood clots.

A blood clot in a deep vein of the leg, pelvis, and sometimes arm, is called deep vein thrombosis (DVT). This type of blood clot does not cause heart attack or stroke.

A blood clot in an artery, usually in the heart or brain, is called arterial thrombosis. This type of blood clot can cause heart attack or stroke.

Both types of clots can cause serious health problems, but the causes and steps you can take to protect yourself are different.

The above information applies to patients without a condition named FPO. Now, that I said that, like me back track and say the if a patient has a hole in their heart, a condition known as patent foramen ovale = PFO.

This section is borrows from my friend Deb's Smith fvleiden.org website. Dr. Moll discusses PFO in the below excerpt:

Some people have a "hole in the heart", a so-called "patent foramen ovale" (PFO). This is a connection between the
right and the left chamber (atrium) of the heart. We are all born with it - the unborn needs this connection for
proper blood circulation. In most people the hole closes in the weeks after birth. In approximately 10 % of people it
stays open, equally in men and women [Chest, 1995;107:1504-9. "The incidence of patent foramen ovale in 1,000
consecutive patients"]. The PFO usually does not cause symptoms, because it is only small. However, when a traveling
blood clot comes into the right heart chamber, it may cross through the PFO from the right to the left heart chamber
(figure 2). From there the bloodstream can carry it to the brain (causing a stroke); this is referred to as "paradoxical
stroke" or paradoxical thromboembolism". The clot can also be carried into the coronary arteries (causing a heart
attack), or the arteries of legs or arms (causing a peripheral arterial thrombembolism). Such paradoxical embolism is not common. However, accurate data as to how often this occurs in patients who have a DVT do not exist.

Search for a PFO is typically done when working up the cause of an unexplained stroke. A PFO is diagnosed by an echo
study of the heart (= cardiac echo); the hole can often be seen on the echo. However, sometimes it can not be seen and
then a "bubble study" is needed, during which agitated (bubbly) normal saline is injected into an arm vein; if a PFO is
present the bubbly normal saline can be seen on the echo passing from the right side of the heart to the left. An echo
performed with a tube that a patient swallows (= transesophageal echo or TEE) is more sensitive in picking up small
PFOs than an echo done through the chest wall (= trans-thoracic echo or TTE). Thus, if one wants to rule out a PFO,
one can get a TTE first; however, if it does not show a PFO, one should get a TEE with bubble study. "

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