Arterial thrombosis is the formation of a thrombus within an artery. In most cases, arterial thrombosis follows rupture of atheroma, and is therefore referred to asatherothrombosis.
Another common cause of arterial occlusion is atrial fibrillation, which causes a blood stasis within the atria with easy thrombus formation. In addition, it is well known that the direct current cardioversion of atrial fibrillation carries a great risk of thromboembolism, especially if persisting more than 48 hours. Thromboembolism strikes approximately 5% of cases not receiving anticoagulant therapy. When cardiac rhythm is restored clots are pushed out from atria to ventricles and from these to the aorta and its branches.
Arterial thrombosis can embolize and is a major cause of arterial embolism, potentially causing infarction of almost any organ in the body.