Advertisement

Surgical and Radiologic Anatomy

, Volume 40, Issue 8, pp 967–975 | Cite as

Friar Leopold Mandic (1866–1942): the computed tomography of the body of a saint

  • Veronica Macchi
  • Edgardo Enrico Edoardo Picardi
  • Andrea Porzionato
  • Aldo Morra
  • Lineo Tabarin
  • Flaviano Gusella
  • Bruno Grignon
  • Raffaele De CaroEmail author
Anatomic Variations

Abstract

Purpose

In forensic clinical anatomy computed tomography (CT) is used in post-mortem radiological investigation as an objective nondestructive documentation of the body surface and of the interior of the body. This technique is applied also in paleopathology, in particular in mummy studies, with the aim of providing a permanent record of the mummy’s features, investigating the embalming procedure employed and analyzing the extent of the preservation in detail.

Methods

For the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, the mortal remains of Saint Leopold Mandic and Saint Pio da Pietralcina, as examples of Mercy known by everyone, have been brought to Rome in February 2016. During the survey that preceded the preparation for transport to Rome, a whole-body CT was performed on the mummified corpse of Leopold Mandic, Capuchin Saint of Padova, Italy.

Results

The CT examination demonstrated the presence of osteoarthritis at the level of the vertebral column, of the left knee and of the left hand. Moreover, CT showed the preservation of skeleton and partial preservation of the some viscera, such as remnants of the brain, heart, oesophagus, urinary bladder, plexuses and spinal nerves, ear ossicles, major arterial vessels (aorta and carotid arteries). It is to emphasize the fact that Saint Leopold was not subjected before the CT to any conservative treatment.

Conclusions

Computed tomography demonstrated to be a non-destructive method to investigate Saint Leopold, in order to maintain the integrity of the body and to acquire data on his pathologies and on his preservation. CT allows not only the acquisition of sectional images but also, thanks to dedicated software, the post-processing and reconstruction of three-dimensional models, that can be used also for public displays.

Keywords

Computed tomography Saint Mummies Paleoradiology Paleopathology Forensic clinical anatomy 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors are grateful to Dr. Gloria Sarasin for her skillful technical assistance.

Author contributions

VM: Project and protocol development, data collection and analysis, manuscript writing. EEEP: Data analysis, manuscript writing. AP: Project development, data analysis, manuscript writing. AM: Data collection and analysis. LT: Project development. FG: Project development. BG: Data analysis and manuscript editing. RC: Project and protocol development, data collection and analysis, manuscript writing and editing.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors indicate no potential conflicts of interest.

References

  1. 1.
    Alterauge A, Becker T, Berndt B, Jackowski C, Lösch S (2016) Testing “saintly” authenticity: investigations on two catacomb saints. Radiographics 36:573–579.  https://doi.org/10.1148/rg.2016150008 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Cesarani F, Martina MC, Grilletto R, Boano R, Roveri AM, Capussotto V, Giuliano A, Celia M, Gandini G (2004) Facial reconstruction of a wrapped Egyptian mummy using MDCT. Am J Roentgenol 183:755–758CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Charlier P, Huynh-Charlier I, Poupon J, Fox CL, Keyser C, Mougniot C, Popescu SM, Brun L, Pietri S, Thévenard F, Laquay L, Hurel A, Ellul JP, Hervé C (2014) The heart of Blessed Anne-Madeleine Remuzat: a biomedical approach of “miraculous” heart conservation. Cardiovasc Pathol 23:344–350.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.carpath.2014.07.005 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Dirnhofer R, Jackowski C, Vock P, Potter K, Thali MJ (2006) VIRTOPSY: minimally invasive, imaging-guided virtual autopsy. Radiographics 26:1305–1333CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Harwood-Nash DC (1979) Computed tomography of ancient Egyptian mummies. J Comput Assist Tomogr 3:768–773CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Jackowski C, Bolliger S, Thali MJ (2008) Common and unexpected findings in mummies from ancient Egypt and South America as revealed by CT. Radiographics 28:1477–1492.  https://doi.org/10.1148/rg.285075112 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Macchi V, Porzionato A, Stecco C, Morra A, De Caro R (2012) Comment on: the anatomical collection of Giovan Battista Rini (1795–1856). Clin Anat 25:788–790.  https://doi.org/10.1002/ca.22097 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Panzer S, Carli A, Zink AR, Piombino-Mascali D (2012) The anatomical collection of Giovan Battista Rini (1795–1856): a paleoradiological investigation. Clin Anat 25:299–307.  https://doi.org/10.1002/ca.21240 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Panzer S, Zink AR, Piombino-Mascali D (2010) Scenes from the past: radiologic evidence of anthropogenic mummification in the Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo, Sicily. Radiographics 30:1123–1132.  https://doi.org/10.1148/rg.304095174 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Panzer S, Gill-Frerking H, Rosendahl W, Zink AR, Piombino-Mascali D (2013) Multidetector CT investigation of the mummy of Rosalia Lombardo (1918–1920). Ann Anat 195:401–408.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aanat.2013.03.009 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Park K (2010) Holy autopsies. Saintly bodies and medical expertise, 1300–1600. In: Hairston J, Stephens W (eds) The body in Early Modern Italy. John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, pp 61–73Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Polacco M, Sedati P, Arena V, Pascali VL, Zobel BB, Oliva A, Rossi R (2015) Visualization of myocardial infarction by post-mortem single-organ coronary computed tomography: a feasibility study. Int J Legal Med 129:517–524.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s00414-014-1085-y CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Porzionato A, Macchi V, Stecco C, Loukas M, Tubbs RS, De Caro R (2017) Forensic clinical anatomy: A new field of study with application to medicolegal issues. Clin Anat 30:2–5.  https://doi.org/10.1002/ca.22796 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Salmaso R, Manara R, Fassan M, Severino MS, Visentin S, Macchi V, Cosmi E (2009) Radiological-pathological comparison in a case of conjoined gnatho-thoracopagus twins. Fetal Diagn Ther 26:223–226.  https://doi.org/10.1159/000253879 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag France SAS, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Neuroscience, Institute of Human AnatomyUniversity of PadovaPadovaItaly
  2. 2.Section of RadiologyEuganea Medica CenterPadovaItaly
  3. 3.Church of San Leopoldo MandicPadovaItaly
  4. 4.Department of Anatomy and Guilloz ImagingCHU NancyNancyFrance

Personalised recommendations