Scientists validate Da Vinci's drawings of digestive system

Scientists validate Da Vinci's drawings of digestive system

NEW DELHI-Anadolu Agency
Scientists validate Da Vincis drawings of digestive system

In a landmark research, Indian and Irish scientists have revalidated the 500-year-old findings of Italian polymath Leonardo Da Vinci that the human gut is a continuous structure.

This idea had been junked by a British surgeon in the 19th century, who claimed that the mesentery that attaches intestines to the abdominal wall was a segmented entity.

Interestingly surgeons worldwide over the past 150 years had been operating people, trusting the theory of the British doctor Frederick Treves, who had disputed Da Vinci in the 19th century.

The scientists had dumped Treves’ theory way back in 2017. But they got global acceptance recently, after a team of doctors dissected 20 cadavers at different locations to reaffirm their study.

The doctors claim that with this new finding, the teaching of the abdominal anatomy, gut embryology, and dissection technique will never be the same again.

Talking to Anadolu Agency from New York, one of the scientists, Dr. Muneeb Faiq, hailing from Indian-administered Kashmir said the findings will have a significant impact on medical science.

“Our findings are an important part of Da Vinci’s missing depictions of the mesentery. An intact mesentery provides bloodless planes to approach the intestine along its length. So, it will make intestinal and other abdominal surgeries easier and will reduce the complications, “he said.

Faiq, who is now working at the New York University in the U.S. said the clear evidence of a continuous mesentery has surprised many anatomists and gastroenterologists. Besides, he said clearing the lymph nodes in colonic and rectal, or metastatic abdominal cancers will also become easier if surgeons follow the mesenteric planes.

The scientists from All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Indian capital New Delhi, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER) in southern city of Puducherry, and University of Limerick in Ireland had found that the sketches of digestive system drawn by the Italian generous in the 15th century were correct.

“Dr. Calvin Coffey of the University of Limerick and his group had first shown intact mesentery from the jejunum to rectum in digital construction from abdominal CT scan images in 2016. We confirmed and additionally found that intact mesentery -- a contiguous set of tissues that attaches the intestines to the posterior abdominal wall -- continues upward up to duodenum [part of the small intestine],” said Dr. Ashutosh Kumar, Assistant Professor at the AIIMS.