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26-year-old medical student Warren Nielsen and four of his classmates prepped a cadaver in the chilly dissection lab at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland.
The cadaver assigned to Nielsen's team was a 99-year-old woman who had died of natural causes. Her name was Rose Marie Bentley and she had a condition called situs inversus with levocardia, in which most vital organs are reversed -- almost like a mirror inside the body. That, along with a host of other weird but wonderful abnormalities, made Bentley a sort of medical unicorn.
On this March day, the assignment was to open the body's chest cavity to examine the heart. It wasn't long before Nielsen's group began to question their fledgling medical knowledge.
"Her heart was missing a large vein that's normally on the right side," Nielsen said. Bewildered, he and his team called the professors over and asked: "Where's the inferior vena cava? Are we missing it? Are we crazy?"
"And they kind of rolled their eyes," Nielsen said, "Like, 'how can these students miss this big vessel?' And they come over and that's when the hubbub starts. They're like 'Oh, my God, this is totally backwards!' "
Numerous veins that typically drain the liver and other parts of the chest cavity were either missing or sprouting from an unusual spot. Her right lung had only two lobes, instead of the standard three, while the right atrium of her heart was twice normal size.
"And instead of having a stomach on the left, which is normal, her stomach was on the right," Walker said. "Her liver, which normally occurs predominantly on the right, was predominantly on the left. Her spleen was on the right side instead of its normal occurrence on the left. And then the rest of her digestive tract, the ascending colon, was inverted as well."
The condition occurs in only 1 out of 22,000 babies and is invariably associated with severe congenital heart disease. Because of the heart defects, only 5% to 13% live past the age of 5; case reports mention one 13-year-old boy and a 73-year-old who at the time was the second-longest survivor.
originally posted by: galadofwarthethird
a reply to: Itisnowagain
Who knows, would not be that hard to find out, if one really wanted to.