DU CANE MEDICAL IMAGING LTD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DU CANE MEDICAL IMAGING LTD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Narrowed arteries. Coloured fluoroscope (X-ray) of the abdomen of a patient with stenosis (narrowing, purple areas) of the coeliac trunk (top) and the superior mesenteric artery (SMA, bottom). The aorta, the body's main artery is running down centre. The SMA serves the intestines and the pancreas, while the coeliac artery serves the stomach, liver, gallbladder and spleen, as well as the intestines and pancreas. The most common cause of stenosis is atheroma, fatty deposits that thicken the inner coat of the arteries. If left untreated the blood supply could be cut off leading to tissue death. Treatment is with either balloon angioplasty or a stent to re-open the artery.
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