ZEPHYR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ZEPHYR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Calcified aorta. Sagittal coloured X-ray of a 58 year old patient with a calcified abdominal aorta. The aorta (left) is the main artery of the body. It runs down from the heart in front of the spine (blocks, right), before branching into the two iliac arteries that serve the legs. The abdominal aorta has become hardened by deposits of calcium salts (white). Calcification of the aorta can make it brittle and increase the chance of an aneurysm (blood-filled dilation), especially in those with hypertension (high blood pressure). Calcification of the aorta is most common in men over 65 years of age.
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