J. J. HAUW, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY J. J. HAUW, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Dissecting aortic aneurysm. Light micrograph of a section across an aneurysm of the aorta. The aorta is the main body artery. An aneurysm is a bulge in an artery caused by blood pressure acting upon a weakness in the artery wall. In this case the type of aneurysm (dissecting) refers to the inner layer of the aorta wall (pink) detaching (centre). The lumen of the aorta is at upper right. Blood (brown) has pooled in this fissure in the wall (lower left), producing the bulge of an aneurysm. The usual cause is atherosclerosis, where fatty deposits damage the artery's inner wall. Rupture of the aneurysm is often fatal. Surgical repair of the aorta is required. Magnification unknown.
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