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Carotid arteries. Coloured X-ray angiogram of the blood vessels between the heart and the base of the brain. The carotid arteries stand out clearly in the neck (centre), running up from the arch of the aorta (bottom, red) to the base of the brain (top, red). The bottom half of the head appears in profile (upper frame). Angiography is used to study blood vessels for abnormalities. The patient is injected with a radio-opaque liquid and then X- rayed. Carotid angiography is usually used to check for blockages in the carotid arteries of stroke victims, or to detect aneurysms, balloon- like swellings in the arteries, at the base of the brain or the top of the aorta.
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