GCA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY GCA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Gall stones. False-colour computed tomography (CT) scan of an axial section through the abdomen, showing stones in the gall bladder. At centre right, two large oval stones (calculi, purple) can be seen within the gall bladder (yellow). The liver occupies much of the rest of the abdominal space (upper centre and left). At lower centre, a vertebra is cut through (dark blue); the circular object directly above it is the abdominal aorta, the principal artery in the body. Gall stones are a hard mass composed of bile pigments, cholesterol and calcium salts. They form when components of bile are imbalanced, or the gall bladder becomes inflamed. Gall stones can be surgically removed.
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