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Skeletal evidence of aortic coarctation: A case study

Abstract : Reports of cardiovascular diseases diagnosed on skeletonized bodies are rare in the paleopathological and forensic literature, since the disappearance of soft tissues prevents the recognition of most of the lesions associated with these pathologies. However, some cardiovascular diseases can produce adaptative changes on bones, allowing their identification on skeletal material. Among them, aortic coarctation is a congenital disorder, which produces a localized constriction of the aorta. As a consequence, the blood is rerouted through a collateral circulation system whose vessels may become enlarged, producing a distinctive notching on the pleural surface of the ribs and on adjacent bones. During the palaeopathological study of a medieval archaeological sample from central France, an individual showing signs of coarctation of the aorta was identified. The lesions consist of many round-shaped areas of notching within the subcostal groove of ribs. Periosteal new bone formation, which may reflect a chronic inflammatory state facilitated by the aortic coarctation, was also observed on the diaphysis of his long bones. The present report is the second description of aortic coarctation diagnosed on ancient skeletal material. The recognition of the pathognomonic bone’s modifications of this cardiovascular disease is of particular interest in reconstruction of health status of an individual and, as a consequence, may contribute to personal identification during forensic investigations.
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Submitted on : Thursday, June 3, 2021 - 10:19:34 AM
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Sacha Kacki, Jérôme Rouquet, Philippe Blanchard, Philippe Charlier. Skeletal evidence of aortic coarctation: A case study. La Revue de Médecine Légale, 2010, 1 (1), pp.35-38. ⟨10.1016/j.medleg.2010.03.001⟩. ⟨hal-03247523⟩



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