In a thrombotic stroke, a blood clot (thrombus) forms inside one of the brain's arteries. The clot blocks blood flow to a part of the brain. This causes brain cells in that area to stop functioning and die quickly.
The blood clot that triggers a thrombotic stroke usually forms inside an artery that already has been narrowed by atherosclerosis. This is a condition in which fatty deposits (plaques) build up inside blood vessels.
To continue reading this article, you must login
Subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School.