ZEPHYR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ZEPHYR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Coronary stent. This image demonstrates how stenosis (narrowing) of the arteries is treated, a procedure known as angioplasty. During treatment, a balloon catheter (seen running from left to right) guides a stent (wire mesh tube) inside the narrowed region of the artery. This is represented by the compact stent at top. A region of the catheter is then inflated to expand the stent, shown by the inflated catheter and expanded stent at centre. When the catheter is deflated and removed, the stent retains its expanded shape (as seen at bottom) to keep the artery open and ensure normal blood flow.
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