DAVID BASSETT / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DAVID BASSETT / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
False-colour X-ray of a normal human heart. In this enhanced image, the coronary arteries around the heart are clearly seen. The cut ends of the major blood vessels leading to and exiting from the heart are at top. The heart acts as a blood pump and as such it consists of cardiac muscle arranged around four interior blood chambers. As it continually and rythmically beats, it requires a large quantity of oxygen which is supplied by the coronary arteries (white). It is these coronary arteries that, when blocked, cause heart failure (myocardial infarction) when the cardiac muscle is starved of sufficient oxygen to continue its beating process.
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