Carotid artery tear, X-ray

Carotid artery tear, X-ray

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Credit: SOVEREIGN/ISM/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Carotid artery tear. Coloured lateral digital angiogram (X-ray) of a 43-year-old woman with a dissection (tear) of the left internal carotid artery (pink line, upper centre), caused by a sports injury. The spinal column can be seen (centre) along with the base of the skull (top). A dissection is a tear within the wall of a blood vessel. This allows leaked blood (haematoma) to separate the wall layers, creating a pseudoaneurysm (false aneurysm). This causes a narrowing of the artery and can completely block the flow of blood. Carotid artery dissection is the main cause of stroke in young people.

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