JAMES KING-HOLMES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JAMES KING-HOLMES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Aortic aneurysm. Coloured Computed Tomography (CT) scan of an axial section through the abdomen of a man suffering aortic aneurysm (artery ballooning). At centre is the severely enlarged, rounded artery with its central lumen visible (light blue). At lower centre is a white vertebral bone; abdominal organs are seen around the aortic artery. Aortic aneurysm is a blood-filled swelling in the wall of the aorta, the main artery passing blood from the heart to the lower body. It is due to weakening of the artery wall from disease such as atherosclero- sis (fatty deposits), most common in elderly men. If untreated by surgery an aortic aneurysm may rupture with fatal consequences.
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