The gastric disease of Napoleon Bonaparte: brief report for the bicentenary of Napoleon’s death on St. Helena in 1821
Virchows Archiv (2021)
After the defeat at the battle of Waterloo on June 18, 1815, Napoleon Bonaparte was sent into exile to the Island of St. Helena where he died 6 years later on May 5, 1821. One day after his death, Napoleon’s personal physician, Dr. Francesco Antommarchi, performed the autopsy in the presence of Napoleon’s exile companions and the British medical doctors. Two hundred years later, mysteries still surround the cause of his death and different hypotheses have been postulated in the medical and historical literature. The main reasons seem to be the presence of several autopsy reports, their interpretation and perhaps the greed for thrill and mystery. Therefore, for the bicentenary of Napoleon’s death, an international consortium of gastrointestinal pathologists assembled to analyse Napoleon’s autopsy reports based on the level of medical evidence and to investigate if the autopsy reports really do not allow a final statement.