CHRIS BJORNBERG / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CHRIS BJORNBERG / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Aneurysm. Coloured X-ray arteriogram (angiogram) of the head of a patient (rear view), showing an aneurysm of the basilar artery. An aneurysm is a balloon-like swelling of a thinned arterial wall. Here the aneurysm is at lower centre (berry-like structure), occurring at the point where the basilar artery (orange, runs vertically) divides into two cerebral arteries. The basilar artery runs along the pons of the brainstem. Aneurysms in the brain are associated with hypertension (high blood pressure). A ruptured aneurysm causing bleeding is one cause of cerebro-vascular accident (CVA - a stroke); this is one of the major causes of brain damage in the elderly.
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