Results of full-body CT examination of the embalmed body of N. I. Pirogov
|Year of publication
|Article in Periodical
|Magazine / Source
|MU Faculty or unit
|Results of full-body CT examination of the embalmed body of N. I. Pirogov
|Pirogov; PMCT; embalming; examination;
|Professor N.I. Pirogov (1810–1881) was an anatomist, physician, and one of the founders of modern surgery and anesthesiology. His body was embalmed after his death. In 2018, re-embalming of Pirogov's body was carried out, during which a full-body post-mortem CT scan was performed to detect pathological changes and the degree of tissue preservation of the embalmed body. The CT scan revealed ante-mortem changes as well as post-mortem changes in the body of Pirogov. Among the notable ante-mortem changes were pathologies such as a defect in the palatine bone and maxillary sinus, which were most likely a result of cancerous processes, or minor spinal deformities. Calcifications were detected in the brain tissue and the walls of some vessels. Some of these observed pathological changes suggest that N.I. Pirogov was a heavy smoker, and other degenerative changes are typical for advanced age. The post-mortem changes were caused by the processes connected to embalming procedures. The organs of the chest were collapsed, and gas content was detected in some hollow visceral formations. Reduced mineralization of some skeletal elements, such as the vertebrae, humeri, clavicles, sternum, and selected ribs, as well as the hand phalanges, and the lower limb bones, was most likely caused by the contact with the embalming fluid. Some of the further post-mortem changes, such as detection of gauze material in the oral cavity, neck, and abdominal cavity, confirmed the method of primary embalming and subsequent preservation and research interventions performed on the body over the years. The findings also confirmed that the body was in a good state of preservation.