ZEPHYR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ZEPHYR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Narrowed arteries. Coloured angiogram X-ray of the abdomen of a 62 year old patient with stenosis (narrowing of the blood vessels, orange). The large blood vessel at top centre is the aorta, the main artery of the body, which starts at the heart. It branches into the two iliac arteries that serve the legs. The arteries have become narrowed in multiple places due to atheroma, fatty deposits that thicken the inner coat of the arteries. Treatment is usually with either balloon angioplasty or a stent to re-open the artery. Angiograms are produced by taking an X- ray after injecting a patient with a radio-opaque contrast medium.
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