SOVEREIGN, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SOVEREIGN, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Aneurysms near aortic arch. Coloured X-ray of aneurysms (swellings) of the left subclavian artery (right) and the right brachio-cephalic arterial trunk (left), in a 59-year-old man. This is a left anterior oblique view, with the aortic arch at lower centre, which is just above the heart (not seen). The arteries at upper centre are ascending to the head through the neck. An aneurysm is a weakening of the walls of a blood vessel, leading to swelling and rupture. Here, so close to the heart, such rupturing would be swiftly fatal. Surgery is needed to repair the aneurysms and implant stents to strengthen the artery walls. A contrast medium has been injected into the blood to highlight the blood vessels (orange), a technique known as angiography.
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