GCA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY GCA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Aortic aneurysm. Coloured computed tomography (CT) 3-D scan showing the abdominal section of the aorta (purple) affected by an aneurysm (bulging region at bottom centre). Aneurysms are abnormal dilations of an artery caused by the pressure of the blood on a weakened area. The weakening may be due to disease, injury or a congenital defect. They may rupture causing fatal blood loss or, if situated in the brain, severe damage to the brain. Ruptured or greatly enlarged aneurysms require urgent surgery. The kidneys (green) are seen at top left and right; part of the pelvis (turquoise) is visible at bottom.
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