|Home | About | Journals | Submit | Contact Us | Français|
The paper by the Bondesons (December 2003 JRSM1) prompts me to comment that the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel is not the only painting of the Renaissance in which a medically identifiable neck swelling is shown. Piero della Francesca in his Resurrection shows the central soldier asleep at the tomb with his head thrown back. He quite clearly has a smoothly defined midline swelling in his neck. It is too high and too central to be a lesion of the glandular thyroid (Figure 1a). In a detail from the Polyptych of the Misericordia the same model is used, and the same swelling is clearly seen (Figure 1b). There is a tradition that Piero used himself as a model and that these figures are of him. He probably lived from 1420 to 1492, a very good lifespan for the period. If he was the subject, the lesion was not malignant or life-limiting. The most likely diagnosis is a thyroglossal duct cyst.