Heart disease, X-ray

Heart disease, X-ray

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Credit: ZEPHYR/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Heart disease. Coloured angiogram (X-ray) of the coronary (heart) arteries of a patient with heart disease. Coronary arteries (red) supply the heart muscle with oxygenated blood. Extensive stenosis (narrowing) of the blood vessels is seen here. Stenosis is usually due to atherosclerosis, where fatty deposits of atheroma form on the inner walls of arteries. It may also be due to abnormal blood clots (thrombi) blocking part of an artery. Lack of blood to the heart muscle causes angina (severe chest pain) and can lead to a heart attack (death of part of the heart muscle). Atherosclerosis is usually caused by a high-cholesterol diet, but smoking and inactivity are also risk factors.

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