For the first time, researchers have used computed tomography (CT) to assist in the diagnosis of a historical case of congenital diaphragmatic hernia, which is a birth defect of the hernia. The hernia was found in a 17th-century middle-age male mummy, dubbed the Andong mummy (shown here), according to the study detailed online July 2, 2014 in the journal PLOS ONE. [Read full news story]
The 17th-century Korean mummy before textile specialists removed his shrouds (clothing). A topknot on the head of the mummy, something not allowed or bachelors during the Joseon period, suggested he was married at the time of his death. The mummy showed signs of a diaphragmatic hernia, which is a partial protrusion of the abdominal organs through a defect in the diaphragm, the researchers wrote in their research article published online in PLOS ONE. [Read full news story]
The mummy was discovered in January 2013 in the Joseon tomb at Andong, a southeastern Korean city. The mummy, whose straw shoes are shown here, was lying on his back, face-up, when discovered. [Read full news story]
The Korean mummy showed a herniated liver (Lv) and herniated organs stretching from the abdominal to the thoracic cavities, shown here in these CT images.
From the images, the researchers suggest this mummy experienced a serious form of congenital diaphragm hernia. Even so, they didn't find any evidence of complications such as the perforation of herniated organs, which cause most fatal emergencies of adults with this disorder. As such, the man may have lived with the hernia without many signs of respiratory problems, the researchers noted. [Read full news story]
Here, CT images reveal the heart, lung and diaphragm of the 17th-century Andong mummy, with the herniated organs indicated with an asterick.
The researchers suspect that this male mummy may have largely compensated for any functional problems linked to the congenital hernia. [Read full news story]
These CT images show the herniated organs of the Andong mummy (left column) and the same slices of the body from the Gangneung mummy, who didn't show signs of congenital hernia. (Symbols: Ht, heart; RL, right lung; LL, left lung; Co, Colon; Lv, Liver.) For instance, the liver, located at the level of the heart, was much too high, in the Andong mummy. [Read full news story]
A hernia (arrows) showed up on the right side of the diaphragm during dissection of the Korean mummy. The left part of the diaphragm (B) shows no signs of any defect, the researchers said.
Congenital hernia showed up in the diaphragm (arrows) during dissection of the thoracic and abdominal cavities of the Korean mummy. The liver can be seen protruding through the hernia in this image.
A dissection of the Korean mummy, showing the thoracic and abdominal cavities (A); the right thoracic cavity showing parts of the liver and colon (B); the defect in the diaphragm indicating congenital hernia (arrow) (C); and the liver protruding through the diaphragm surface (D). (Symbols: Pe, pericardium; Dph, diaphragm; Om, omentum; LL, Left lung; RL, right lung (posterior and anterior); Co, Colon; Lv, Liver.) [Read full news story]