Elephantiasis of the legs, MRA scan

Elephantiasis of the legs, MRA scan

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Credit: ZEPHYR/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Elephantiasis of the legs. Magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) scan of the blood vessels in the lower right leg of a 39-year-old woman with elephantiasis, a condition where the lymph vessels become blocked. Fluid consequently accumulates in the tissue (oedema), leading to swelling. The swelling has compressed the existing arteries and caused the formation of new arteries. The most common cause of elephantiasis is infection with parasitic worms (filariasis). Lymph vessels carry fluid to allow the exchange of water, salts, proteins and other substances between the blood and tissues. This patient contracted the condition in the tropics, in Sri Lanka.

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