Histologic diagnoses of tissues from two nineteenth century Habsburgs.

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This study describes the histological alterations of the internal organs of Prince Joseph Habsburg (1776-1847) and his first wife, Alexandra Pavlovna Romanova (1783-1801). Both corpses were mummified and the internal organs were stored separately in rosemary oil, in metal vessels. Royal Prince Joseph Habsburg died on 13 January 1847. The microscopic study confirms focal subacute glomerulonephritis (type Berg) with IgA precipitate on the glomerular mesangium and Bowmann's capsule. To the best of this author's knowledge, this is the first case in the paleopathological literature in which the subacute IgA glomerulonephritis could be confirmed immunohistochemically. Gout (urate nephropathy), severe arteriosclerosis, prostate adenoma and purulent prostatitis could also be diagnosed. The Prince's first wife, Alexandra Pavlovna Romanova, died in childbirth at age 18 years, along with her newborn daughter. Histological examination of Alexandra's organs revealed severe fibrocaseous and miliary tuberculosis, with dissemination to the lymph nodes, liver and spleen.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12-18
Number of pages7
JournalPaleopathology newsletter
Issue number141
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2008


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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