Saddle Embolus

Gross Appearance

The right ventricle and pulmonary arteries are opened to show a fresh, coiled thromboembolus in the ventricle and in the main, left, and right pulmonary arteries. No infarcts were found in the lungs.

Because this cause of death is usually not suspected, standard autopsy procedure includes exploring the proximal pulmonary arteries for emboli immediately after the chest is opened so as not to displace possible emboli.

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