SOVEREIGN, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SOVEREIGN, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Brain aneurysm treatment. Coloured angiogram (blood vessel X-ray), in frontal view, of the head of a 49-year-old patient undergoing treatment for a brain aneurysm. A brain aneurysm is a dangerous swelling in a brain blood vessel. This treatment involves inserting metallic coils (white, centre) into the aneurysm. The X-ray is used to show the position of the coils, placed by electromagnetic controls, and a contrast medium shows the blood vessels. The coils cause blood in the aneurysm to clot, and eventually the blood vessel reforms its wall. This technique is an alternative to direct surgery. The blood vessel being treated here is the basilar artery that supplies the base of the brain.
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