ALAIN POL, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ALAIN POL, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
False-colour arteriogram revealing an abdominal aortic aneurysm, the red, balloon-like swelling of the wall of the abdominal aorta. Also shown is the division of the aorta into left & right iliac arteries that supply the legs, and the blood supply to both kidneys (orange). An aortic aneurysm may be diagnosed as a pulsile mass in the abdomen & constitutes a surgical emergency: a ruptured aneurysm is rapidly fatal. The condition arises from congenital deficiencies in the arterial walls or secondary to degenerative diseases such as syphilis. Angiography is the X- ray examination of arteries outlined by prior injection of a radio-opaque contrast medium.
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