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Julia Pastrana, the nondescript: an example of congenital, generalized hypertrichosis terminalis with gingival hyperplasia

Bondeson, Jan and Miles, A. E. W. 1993. Julia Pastrana, the nondescript: an example of congenital, generalized hypertrichosis terminalis with gingival hyperplasia. American Journal of Medical Genetics 47 (2) , pp. 198-212. 10.1002/ajmg.1320470213

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Abstract

Julia Pastrana (1834-1860) has gained immortality as one of the most extreme cases of generalized hypertrichosis upon record. When she was exhibited for money in the United States and Europe during the years 1855-1860, people thronged to see her, and she was several times described in the medical press of the day. After Julia Pastrana's death in childbirth, her corpse was embalmed in a very life-like manner, and exhibited all over Europe for several decades. Later, the mummy was believed to be lost, but in 1990 it was discovered at the Oslo Forensic Institute. Some writers have included Julia Pastrana among the cases of congenital hypertrichosis languinosa. However, a microscopic examination of hair samples from the mummy shows that her hairy growth is unmistakably terminal in character, and we propose that she instead was an example of congenital, generalized hypertrichosis terminalis with associated gingival hyperplasia. While many earlier writers have asserted that Julia Pastrana's dentition was abnormal, a radiographic examination of the mummy has shown that she had a complete permanent dentition.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: abnormalities; congenital hypertrichosis; dentition
Publisher: Wiley-Liss
ISSN: 0148-7299
Last Modified: 30 Jun 2017 03:18
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/54059

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