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August 16, 2000

Evidence of Myocardial Infarction in Mummified Human Tissue

Author Affiliations

Stephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Contributing EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Executive Deputy EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 2000;284(7):831-832. doi:10.1001/jama.284.7.827

To the Editor: Pathological study of mummified soft tissue may help detect epidemiological patterns of disease in ancient populations.1 We hypothesized that by using a sensitive and specific cardiac troponin (cardiac troponin I [cTnI]) assay,2 we could detect molecular evidence of a myocardial infarction (MI) in the mummified tissue of an individual in whom other forensic and historical evidence suggested sudden cardiac death. Such a demonstration would allow case studies of heart disease in historical populations, similar to ongoing investigations into ancient patterns of parasitic disease.1