ZEPHYR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ZEPHYR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Renal angioplasty. Coloured X-ray angiogram of a balloon catheter being placed in the right renal artery of a 57-year-old patient. The balloon catheter is used to treat stenosis (narrowing) of the artery. The spine is on the right and the right kidney is at left. The balloon catheter (upper right, in front of spine) is guided into place by a flexible catheter (running from left to lower right). Once in place it is inflated to open the artery and restore normal blood flow. The most common cause of stenosis is atheroma, fatty deposits that thicken the inner coat of the arteries.
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