Yi-Suk Kim et al., PLoS One (July 2/2014)

Scientists spot hernia in 300-year-old mummy

He missed the age of computerized tomography (CT) scans, but a man who perished in the 17th century finally has a diagnosis. Scientists examining a mummy uncovered last year in a royal tomb in present-day South Korea discovered signs of Bochdalek-type congenital diaphragmatic hernia—the result of a birth defect that can cause organs to protrude into the chest cavity, LiveScience reports. The unusual placement of his organs in a CT scan was a tipoff for the researchers that something was amiss, and an autopsy confirmed the finding—the first premodern case of the disease to receive a CT-assisted diagnosis, the team reports this month in PLOS ONE.

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