Paleopathologic diagnosis based on experimental mummification.

The difficulties of diagnosis of pathologic conditions are immensely magnified when the subject of a postmortem examination has been postmortem for several hundreds to thousands of years. Artefacts of decomposition and bacterial and fungal invasion are compounded upon those of rehydration when mummi...

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Main Author: Zimmerman, Michael.
Format: Villanova Faculty Authorship
Language:English
Published: 1979
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spelling Paleopathologic diagnosis based on experimental mummification.
Zimmerman, Michael.
The difficulties of diagnosis of pathologic conditions are immensely magnified when the subject of a postmortem examination has been postmortem for several hundreds to thousands of years. Artefacts of decomposition and bacterial and fungal invasion are compounded upon those of rehydration when mummified tissue is examined. As an approach to these problems, a study of the changes seen in experimentally mummified and rehydrated tissues was undertaken. Normal and pathologic tissues were studied in comparison to sections prepared from the fresh tissue. The experimentally mummified tissues were generally similar to, but somewhat better preserved than, actual human mummies. There was organ and tissue specific variability in preservation, and different classes of pathology likewise showed differential preservation. Inflammatory reactions were not very well-preserved although infecting microorganisms were easily identified. Degenerative processes such as atherosclerosis and others characterized by the accumulation of abnormal products, were well preserved, while necrosis, as in acute myocardial infarction, was not. Malignancies were particularly well preserved. The implications of these findings for previous and future mummy studies is discussed in terms of our understanding of the evolution of disease processes.
1979
Villanova Faculty Authorship
vudl:179485
American Journal of Physical Anthropology 51(2), 1979, 235-354.
en
dc.title_txt_mv Paleopathologic diagnosis based on experimental mummification.
dc.creator_txt_mv Zimmerman, Michael.
dc.description_txt_mv The difficulties of diagnosis of pathologic conditions are immensely magnified when the subject of a postmortem examination has been postmortem for several hundreds to thousands of years. Artefacts of decomposition and bacterial and fungal invasion are compounded upon those of rehydration when mummified tissue is examined. As an approach to these problems, a study of the changes seen in experimentally mummified and rehydrated tissues was undertaken. Normal and pathologic tissues were studied in comparison to sections prepared from the fresh tissue. The experimentally mummified tissues were generally similar to, but somewhat better preserved than, actual human mummies. There was organ and tissue specific variability in preservation, and different classes of pathology likewise showed differential preservation. Inflammatory reactions were not very well-preserved although infecting microorganisms were easily identified. Degenerative processes such as atherosclerosis and others characterized by the accumulation of abnormal products, were well preserved, while necrosis, as in acute myocardial infarction, was not. Malignancies were particularly well preserved. The implications of these findings for previous and future mummy studies is discussed in terms of our understanding of the evolution of disease processes.
dc.date_txt_mv 1979
dc.format_txt_mv Villanova Faculty Authorship
dc.identifier_txt_mv vudl:179485
dc.source_txt_mv American Journal of Physical Anthropology 51(2), 1979, 235-354.
dc.language_txt_mv en
author Zimmerman, Michael.
spellingShingle Zimmerman, Michael.
Paleopathologic diagnosis based on experimental mummification.
author_facet Zimmerman, Michael.
dc_source_str_mv American Journal of Physical Anthropology 51(2), 1979, 235-354.
format Villanova Faculty Authorship
author_sort Zimmerman, Michael.
dc_date_str 1979
dc_title_str Paleopathologic diagnosis based on experimental mummification.
description The difficulties of diagnosis of pathologic conditions are immensely magnified when the subject of a postmortem examination has been postmortem for several hundreds to thousands of years. Artefacts of decomposition and bacterial and fungal invasion are compounded upon those of rehydration when mummified tissue is examined. As an approach to these problems, a study of the changes seen in experimentally mummified and rehydrated tissues was undertaken. Normal and pathologic tissues were studied in comparison to sections prepared from the fresh tissue. The experimentally mummified tissues were generally similar to, but somewhat better preserved than, actual human mummies. There was organ and tissue specific variability in preservation, and different classes of pathology likewise showed differential preservation. Inflammatory reactions were not very well-preserved although infecting microorganisms were easily identified. Degenerative processes such as atherosclerosis and others characterized by the accumulation of abnormal products, were well preserved, while necrosis, as in acute myocardial infarction, was not. Malignancies were particularly well preserved. The implications of these findings for previous and future mummy studies is discussed in terms of our understanding of the evolution of disease processes.
title Paleopathologic diagnosis based on experimental mummification.
title_full Paleopathologic diagnosis based on experimental mummification.
title_fullStr Paleopathologic diagnosis based on experimental mummification.
title_full_unstemmed Paleopathologic diagnosis based on experimental mummification.
title_short Paleopathologic diagnosis based on experimental mummification.
title_sort paleopathologic diagnosis based on experimental mummification.
publishDate 1979
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language English
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