Decomposed stomach, 1864
Figs. 9 & 10. The color of decomposition in the stomach. The stomach of a 50-year-old man, drawn in half-scale, who died in December from tuberculosis of the lung and consumption. Even though the temperature was already -5 to -8 degrees C, the decomposition, after three days, had already progressed to the point where the inner lining of the stomach had turned green and trachea had turned brown-red. The stomach drawn on this day (fig. 9 shows the outer surface; fig. 10 shows the inner surface) reveals the discoloration that is typical of this stage of decomposition, and which is described in greater detail in the text. What is important from a diagnostic standpoint are the markedly expanded veins, as well as the dirty brown and dirty purple blurry island spots, because otherwise the signs of decomposition might be mistaken for signs of inflammation or poisoning.
Johann Ludwig Casper, M.D., Atlas zum Handbuch der gerichtlichen Medicin [Atlas for the Manual of Legal Medicine] (4th ed., Berlin, 1864) [chromolithograph]; Artist: Hugo Troschel; Lithographer: Winckelmann & Sons
National Library of Medicine