Limits...
A Systematic Approach to the Application of Soft Tissue Histopathology in Paleopathology.

Grove C, Peschel O, Nerlich AG - Biomed Res Int (2015)

Bottom Line: We established a reproducible histological ranking system for the evaluation of mummified tissue preservation.There are some organs with only poor conservation even in short term periods such as the kidneys and CNS.The identification of specific pathologies underlines the potential power of paleohistology.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Institute of Legal Medicine, Ludwig-Maximilians University of Munich, 80336 Munich, Germany.

ABSTRACT
The application of histology to soft tissue remains offers an important technique to obtain diagnostically important information on various physiological and pathological conditions in paleopathology. In a series of 29 cases with mummified tissue ranging between 16 months and c. 5.200 years of postmortem time interval, we systematically investigated paleohistology and the preservation of various tissues. We established a reproducible histological ranking system for the evaluation of mummified tissue preservation. The application of this scheme to the series showed good tissue preservation of tissues with high connective tissue content but also fat tissue and connective tissue rich organs, such as lung tissue, while most other internal organs were less well preserved despite highly different postmortem time intervals. There are some organs with only poor conservation even in short term periods such as the kidneys and CNS. Artificial mummification does not provide better conservation than naturally mummified tissues; "cold" mummies may be much better conserved than those from desert areas. The identification of specific pathologies underlines the potential power of paleohistology.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

(a) A natural mummy from a German crypt of AD 1851 (14, 163 yrs.). The soft tissue is in a very well conservation status with fat cell residues and a small arteriolar blood vessel (center). (b) Lung tissue from mummy 14 with collapse of the air spaces, abundant anthracosis pigment, and small residues of a proteinaceous exudate (obviously remnants of a lung edema). (c) The artificially mummified infant 17 (198 yrs.) shows extremely well-preserved tissue structures of the lung, again with extensive residues of a (terminal) pulmonary edema. Here, the artificial conservation even has retained cell structures! (d) A section of kidney tissue from mummy 17 again with excellently preserved tissue structures as visible from glomeruli and residues of tubuli (original magnification ×200; ((a)–(d)) H&E).
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection


getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4543791&req=5

fig3: (a) A natural mummy from a German crypt of AD 1851 (14, 163 yrs.). The soft tissue is in a very well conservation status with fat cell residues and a small arteriolar blood vessel (center). (b) Lung tissue from mummy 14 with collapse of the air spaces, abundant anthracosis pigment, and small residues of a proteinaceous exudate (obviously remnants of a lung edema). (c) The artificially mummified infant 17 (198 yrs.) shows extremely well-preserved tissue structures of the lung, again with extensive residues of a (terminal) pulmonary edema. Here, the artificial conservation even has retained cell structures! (d) A section of kidney tissue from mummy 17 again with excellently preserved tissue structures as visible from glomeruli and residues of tubuli (original magnification ×200; ((a)–(d)) H&E).

Mentions: In addition, we were able to investigate a small series of historic mummies of mostly natural mummification processes (except for one child mummy, see below). In this series the mummies came from a South German crypt dating to the post-Napoleonic period (AD 1841–1859) (Figure 3); one artificially mummified infant of that crypt had died in 1816 AD and had been prepared as an artificial mummy. This is described more in detail below.


A Systematic Approach to the Application of Soft Tissue Histopathology in Paleopathology.

Grove C, Peschel O, Nerlich AG - Biomed Res Int (2015)

(a) A natural mummy from a German crypt of AD 1851 (14, 163 yrs.). The soft tissue is in a very well conservation status with fat cell residues and a small arteriolar blood vessel (center). (b) Lung tissue from mummy 14 with collapse of the air spaces, abundant anthracosis pigment, and small residues of a proteinaceous exudate (obviously remnants of a lung edema). (c) The artificially mummified infant 17 (198 yrs.) shows extremely well-preserved tissue structures of the lung, again with extensive residues of a (terminal) pulmonary edema. Here, the artificial conservation even has retained cell structures! (d) A section of kidney tissue from mummy 17 again with excellently preserved tissue structures as visible from glomeruli and residues of tubuli (original magnification ×200; ((a)–(d)) H&E).
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4543791&req=5

fig3: (a) A natural mummy from a German crypt of AD 1851 (14, 163 yrs.). The soft tissue is in a very well conservation status with fat cell residues and a small arteriolar blood vessel (center). (b) Lung tissue from mummy 14 with collapse of the air spaces, abundant anthracosis pigment, and small residues of a proteinaceous exudate (obviously remnants of a lung edema). (c) The artificially mummified infant 17 (198 yrs.) shows extremely well-preserved tissue structures of the lung, again with extensive residues of a (terminal) pulmonary edema. Here, the artificial conservation even has retained cell structures! (d) A section of kidney tissue from mummy 17 again with excellently preserved tissue structures as visible from glomeruli and residues of tubuli (original magnification ×200; ((a)–(d)) H&E).
Mentions: In addition, we were able to investigate a small series of historic mummies of mostly natural mummification processes (except for one child mummy, see below). In this series the mummies came from a South German crypt dating to the post-Napoleonic period (AD 1841–1859) (Figure 3); one artificially mummified infant of that crypt had died in 1816 AD and had been prepared as an artificial mummy. This is described more in detail below.

Bottom Line: We established a reproducible histological ranking system for the evaluation of mummified tissue preservation.There are some organs with only poor conservation even in short term periods such as the kidneys and CNS.The identification of specific pathologies underlines the potential power of paleohistology.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Institute of Legal Medicine, Ludwig-Maximilians University of Munich, 80336 Munich, Germany.

ABSTRACT
The application of histology to soft tissue remains offers an important technique to obtain diagnostically important information on various physiological and pathological conditions in paleopathology. In a series of 29 cases with mummified tissue ranging between 16 months and c. 5.200 years of postmortem time interval, we systematically investigated paleohistology and the preservation of various tissues. We established a reproducible histological ranking system for the evaluation of mummified tissue preservation. The application of this scheme to the series showed good tissue preservation of tissues with high connective tissue content but also fat tissue and connective tissue rich organs, such as lung tissue, while most other internal organs were less well preserved despite highly different postmortem time intervals. There are some organs with only poor conservation even in short term periods such as the kidneys and CNS. Artificial mummification does not provide better conservation than naturally mummified tissues; "cold" mummies may be much better conserved than those from desert areas. The identification of specific pathologies underlines the potential power of paleohistology.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus