Forensic Science, Medicine and Pathology

, Volume 14, Issue 4, pp 574–578 | Cite as

Erosive effects of a posterior mediastinal mass in a 18th to early 19th c. Spanish child mummy

  • Robert D. LoynesEmail author
  • Philippe Charlier
  • Antonio Perciaccante
  • Mercedes Gonzalez
  • Anna Begerock
  • Rafaella Bianucci
Lessons from the Museum


During the 2011 restoration works in the central nave of the church of the Assumption of Our Lady, known as “The Piquete”, in the village of Quinto (about 50 kms southwest of Zaragoza, Spain), the remains of 70 individuals were uncovered. Of these there were 32 mummified bodies, four of which have been investigated with CT scans. Here we report on the findings in one such individual, namely a child of between 7 and 8 years of age, whose sex is debatable but may well be female. The main pathological finding is the presence of pressure erosion and distortion of the upper thoracic spine, the cause of which is discussed with the conclusion that this may well represent a neurenteric duplication cyst. The possible consequences of such a lesion are considered.


Natural mummies Mummy Museum of Quinto Paleopathology Neurenteric cysts 


  1. 1.
    Scheuer L, Black S. Developmental juvenile osteology. London: Academic Press; 2000. pp. 61–3, 76–80, 84–8Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Tomczyk J, Mańkowska-Pliszka H, Palczewski P, Olczak-Kowalczyk D. Congenital syphilis in the skeleton of a child from Poland (Radom, 18th–19th century, AD). Anth Review. 2015;78:79–90.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Aydin E, Aypar E, Oktem A, Ozyuncu O, Yurdakok M, Guvener M, et al. Congenital heart defects: the 10-year experience at a single center. J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2018;18:1–121.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Raghavan M, Lazzeri E, Palestro CJ. Imaging of Spondyloascitis. Semin Nucl Med. 2018;48:131–47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Jeung MJ, Gasser B, Gangi A, Bogorin A, Charneau D, Wihlm JM, et al. Imaging of cystic masses of the mediastinum. Radio Graphics. 2002;22:S79–93.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Oldham HN Jr. Mediastinal tumors and cysts (collective review). Ann Thorac Surg. 1971;11:246–75.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Ravindra VM, Eli IM, Schmidt MH, Brockmeyer DL. Primary osseous tumors of the pediatric spinal column: review of pathology and surgical decision making. Neurosurg Focus. 2016;41(2).Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Fitch SJ, Tonkin IL, Tonkin AK. Imaging of foregut duplication cysts. Radio Graphics. 1986;6:189–201.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Demirbilek S, Kanmaz T, Bitiren M, Yücesan S. Mediastinal neurenteric cyst in a child. Ïnönü Üniversitesi Tip Fakültesi Dergisi. 2005;12:41–3.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Salo JA, Ala-Kulju K. Congenital esophageal cysts in adults. Ann Thorac Surg. 1987;44:135–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Geller A, Wang KK, Dimagno EP. Diagnosis of foregut duplication cysts by endoscopic ultrasonography. Gastroenterology. 1995;109:838–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Bagwan MR, Reddy SM, Pardeshi CZ, Panicker S, Kumar K. Neurenteric cyst of posterior mediastinum in an infant: case report. Int J Sci Stud. 2016;3:280–3.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.KNH Centre for Biomedical EgyptologyUniversity of ManchesterManchesterUK
  2. 2.Section of Medical and Forensic Anthropology (UVSQ DANTE Laboratory EA 4498)Montigny-Le-BretonneuxFrance
  3. 3.CASH & IPESNanterreFrance
  4. 4.Department of MedicineSan Giovanni di Dio HospitalGoriziaItaly
  5. 5.Institute for the Scientific Study of Mummies (IECIM)MadridSpain
  6. 6.Legal Medicine Section, Department of Public Health and Paediatric SciencesUniversity of TurinTurinItaly
  7. 7.Warwick Medical School, Microbiology and Infection UnitThe University of WarwickWarwickUK
  8. 8.UMR 7268, Laboratoire d’Anthropologiebio-culturelle, Droit, Etique&Santé (Adés), Faculté de Médecine de MarseilleMarseilleFrance

Personalised recommendations