A Case of Sudden Death in Decameron IV.6: Aortic Dissection or Atrial Myxoma?

Fabrizio Toscano, Giovanni Spani, Michael Papio, Frank J. Rühli, Francesco M. Galassi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Giovanni Boccaccio's Decameron contains a novella that details the sudden death of a young man called Gabriotto, including a portrayal of the discomfort that the protagonist experienced and a rudimentary autopsy performed by local physicians. The intriguing description of symptoms and pathologies has made it possible to read a 7-century-old case through the modern clinical lens. Thanks to the medical and philological analysis of the text-despite the vast difference between modern and medieval medicine-2 hypothetical diagnoses have emerged: either an aortic dissection or an atrial myxoma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-189
Number of pages3
JournalCirculation Research
Volume119
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jul 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Aortic dissection
  • Autopsy
  • History of medicine
  • Myxoma
  • Sudden death

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