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  • Embolism occurs when an intravascular mass detaches from its point of origin, travels within the vasculature, and deposits at an anatomically distinct location
  • Although different types of emboli exist, the vast majority are composed of thrombi which originate due to coagulation in one vessel, detach, and deposit within another vessel
  • In most cases, deposition of emboli occurs because the conducting vessel becomes too small to allow further passage of the traveling mass
  • The clinical consequences of emboli largely depend on the vessels in which the embolus deposits