Previous Awards

View the images from our previous Award winners.

Detecting stroke

Nicholas Evans, University of Cambridge

Download this image from Wellcome Collection.

A blockage (green) is highlighted in one of the blood vessels (red) in the neck of this person, just below the jaw. This blood vessel supplies blood to the brain. If it starts to clog, the inside of the artery can ‘fur up’. This furry patch can become unstable and burst, forming blood clots that can trigger a stroke. Researchers are developing new ways of identifying these furry areas before they burst, so that they can be treated to reduce the risk of a stroke.

The carotid artery has been narrowed to 4 mm in diameter at the site of the blockage, compared with 8 mm just below. This is considered moderate disease.

Imaging technique: combined computed tomography and positron emission tomography

A combination of two different medical scans are taken simultaneously. Computed tomography (CT) uses X-rays to take virtual slices of the body to show the location of the blood vessels and bones of the skeleton. Positron emission tomography (PET) uses radioactive markers to highlight any unstable furry patches inside the arteries. 

Location where image was created

Cambridge, UK

Why did the judges choose this image?

“This demonstrates beautifully one of the deadliest two centimetres of pathology in human medicine and is an excellent tool to explain the causation of cerebrovascular accidents to patients.”

Dirk Pilat, Medical Director for e-Learning at the Royal College of General Practitioners and a GP on the Essex coast

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