ZEPHYR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ZEPHYR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Narrowed renal artery. Coloured angiogram X-ray of the abdomen of a 62-year-old patient with stenosis (narrowing) of the right renal artery. The large blood vessel running from top to bottom is the aorta, the main artery of the body, which starts at the heart. The two renal arteries that serve the kidneys are branching from the centre of the aorta. The right renal artery has become narrowed (centre left). The most common cause of stenosis is atheroma, fatty deposits that thicken the inner coat of the arteries. Treatment is 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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