MIRIAM MASLO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MIRIAM MASLO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Leg artery stenosis, coloured angiogram X-ray. Stenosis is narrowing of the arteries, usually caused by the deposition of plaques of atheroma on their inner walls (atherosclerosis). Atheroma is a fatty substance whose build-up is associated with a high-fat, high-cholesterol diet. The stenosis is seen as the gaps in the dark arteries. The arteries have been revealed by angiography, in which a radio-opaque contrast medium is injected to highlight the arteries on an X-ray. This narrowing causes reduced levels of oxygenated blood to reach the lower legs, causing symptoms ranging from leg pain on exertion (claudication) to tissue death. Grafts or blood-thinning agents can reduce the symptoms.
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