Creating a meaningful medical image involves two main tasks: collecting the data, and converting it into a picture that can be quickly and accurately interpreted. This image--produced by an advanced X-ray technique called computed tomography, or CT--show advances on both fronts.
Volume-rendering software was paired with CT angiography to discern an abnormal widening in the aorta (the large pink vessel running from the top of the image, surrounding the heart, to the lower parts of the body) close to the heart. Farther down, the liver (purple) and a kidney (bright red) can clearly be seen. Accurately gauging the diameter of the aorta is critical, since it tells a surgeon whether it's in danger of rupturing.