PR. R. ABELANET - CNRI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PR. R. ABELANET - CNRI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Aorta in syphilis. Section through an aorta from a person with syphilis. Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection caused by the spirochete bacterium Treponema pallidum. Here it is has caused inflammation or the aorta (syphilitic aortitis, SA), associated with the tertiary stage of the infection. As SA worsens it causes thickening of the walls of the aorta, restricting blood flow (ischaemia) to the outer aorta wall, which may cause necrosis (tissue death) and lead to an aneurism.
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