PR. R. ABELANET - CNRI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PR. R. ABELANET - CNRI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Aneurysm in the superior mesenteric artery. Gross clinical specimen of a human superior mesenteric artery showing an aneurysm (swelling). The aneurysm was caused by a weakness in the wall of the artery which then swells under the pressure of arterial blood. The most common cause of this weakening is atherosclerosis, the deposition of fatty plaques of atheroma on the inside walls of arteries. Pressure from the swelling can damage surrounding tissues, and the aneurysm may rupture, leading to heavy internal bleeding. The aneurysm can be surgically repaired by grafting a reinforcing implant to replace the weakened part of the artery, but the prognosis is poor if rupture occurs.
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