Secretary of State Hillary Clinton remained in a New York hospital Monday. She was treated with anticoagulant medication after a blood clot was discovered. (Karen Bleier, AFP/Getty Images)
Doctors say she is making "excellent progress"
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, hospitalized Sunday for a blood clot in her head, is expected to make a full recovery, her doctors said Monday.
Doctors say Clinton, 65, did not suffer a stroke or neurological damage after falling and developing a concussion earlier this month. She was admitted to New York-Presbyterian Hospital.
Clinton's physicians also revealed details about the location and type of blood clot -- factors that affect the seriousness of her condition. The clot is located in a vein in the space between the brain and the skull behind her right ear, according to a statement from her doctors, Lisa Bardack of Mount Kisco Medical Group in New York and Gigi El-Bayoumi of George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
The doctors say they are treating her with blood thinners to help dissolve the clot. They expect her to be released from the hospital after doctors determine the appropriate dose, according to a statement.
Clinton "is making excellent progress and we are confident she will make a full recovery," the doctors said in the statement. "She is in good spirits, engaging with her doctors, her family, and her staff."
Clinton developed the concussion earlier this month after a fall, which occurred when she became faint from dehydration brought about by a stomach bug.
Doctors say they found the clot, called a right transverse sinus venous thrombosis, during a routine follow-up MRI, a scan of the brain.
These kinds of clots are potentially deadly, because they can cause a stroke, hemorrhage or brain swelling, says Geoffrey Manley, a professor at the University of California, San Francisco and chief of neurosurgery at San Francisco General Hospital.
Manley has no personal knowledge of Clinton's case.
But he says this kind of clot forms in "a large draining vein behind the ear, that helps to drain the blood from the brain." Clots block off the outflow of blood from the brain, which can cause blood to back up in the brain.
The pressure of that blood can cause a leak in the vein, causing major bleeding in the skull, Manley says.
The clots can cause headaches, dizziness or changes in consciousness, says Keith Black, a professor and chairman of neurosurgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. The fact that the clot was found in a "routine" exam -- rather than because it was causing symptoms -- is a good sign, Black says. It suggests that her brain had already found a way to divert blood flow through another vein. Clots that expand to block additional veins -- leading to a buildup of blood -- can be very dangerous.
"Mrs. Clinton is very lucky that this was found just on a routine exam," Black says. "This could have been very serious if it had not been recognized and if the clot had expanded."
Blood thinners can help to prevent the clot from getting any bigger, Manley says.
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SOURCE: USA Today