ZEPHYR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ZEPHYR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Elephantiasis. Coloured magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan showing a section through the lower leg of a patient with elephantiasis, a condition where the lymph vessels become blocked. Fluid consequently accumulates in the tissue (oedema), leading to swelling. The most common cause of elephantiasis is infection with parasitic worms (filariasis), which can affect the limbs, breasts, scrotum or vulva. Lymph vessels carry fluid to allow the exchange of water, salts, proteins and other substances between the blood and tissues. The bones of the lower leg (tibia, down centre right, and fibula, down centre left) are seen.
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