SIMON FRASER / FREEMAN HOSPITAL, NEWCASTLE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SIMON FRASER / FREEMAN HOSPITAL, NEWCASTLE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Aortic aneurysm. Coloured angiogram (X-ray) of the abdomen of a 62-year-old man with an aortic aneurysm (centre), a swollen part of his artery. The size of the aneurysm is being assessed by the wire-like catheter (purple) in the artery. The block-like bones of the spine run down the centre. This part of the aorta, the body's main artery, supplies blood to the lower body. An aneurysm occurs when a weakened section of the arterial wall balloons outwards due to the high pressure of the arterial system. A contrast medium has been injected into the aorta to enable it to be seen on the X-ray.
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