ZEPHYR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ZEPHYR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Aortic aneurysm in hypertension. Coloured angiogram (right) and 3D computed tomography scan (left) of the chest of a 53-year-old patient with arterial hypertension (high blood pressure), showing an aneurysm of the aortic arch (dark, right; upper centre, left). The heart can be seen at centre (left and right). An aneurysm is a blood-filled dilation in a blood vessel wall. It is caused by a weakening of the vessel wall, which may be caused by hardening of the vessel (atherosclerosis), high blood pressure or injury. If left untreated an aneurysm can rupture, which is often fatal.
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