BSIP, GONDELON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY BSIP, GONDELON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Dissecting aorta. Coloured 3D computed tomography (CT) scan of a dissecting aneurysm of the aorta. This view is from the side, of the chest and upper abdomen. The backbone is seen at right (blue), and just to the left of the backbone is the aorta (the main body artery). The heart is the blue mass at centre left. The aortic defect (the blue line) is where the layers of the wall of the artery have split (dissected). This can disrupt the blood flow and even eventually lead to rupture of the wall of the artery, massive internal bleeding, and death. Surgical repair is needed. CT scanning uses X-rays to scan the body from different angles. Computers create a 3D image of the area scanned.
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