HARVINDER SINGH / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY HARVINDER SINGH / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Arterial stent. Computer illustration showing a stent (wire mesh) positioned in an artery narrowed by atherosclerosis. A wire-like catheter is been inserted into the artery and moved to the site of the constriction. A balloon is then inflated in order to expand the stent. The balloon and the catheter are removed leaving the stent in place to hold the artery open, as seen here. This procedure is known as balloon angioplasty. The most common cause of arterial narrowing is atherosclerosis, the deposition of fatty plaques of atheroma (yellow) on the inner wall of an artery.
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