ZEPHYR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ZEPHYR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Arterial stent. Coloured coronal (frontal) MRA (magnetic resonance angiography) scan of a stent (gap shown by arrows, upper right) in an artery in a patient's groin. The stent is in the left iliac artery. The two iliac arteries (blue/white) branch from the aorta at top centre, and become the femoral arteries of the upper legs. The stent was inserted, using a catheter, during an angioplasty of the artery. This operation widened the artery from its previously blocked state, restoring the blood flow. The stent is made of nitinol, a shape- memory alloy of nickel and titanium. MRA is a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technique that highlights blood vessels. It does not use X-rays.
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