Errors in Pathology

****[The Kaiser's case]('s_case)****

Virchow was one of the leading physicians to Kaiser Frederick III, who suffered from cancer of the larynx. While other physicians such as Ernst von Bergmann suggested surgical removal of the entire larynx, Virchow was opposed to it because no successful operation of such kind had ever been done. The British surgeon, Morell Mackenzie, performed a biopsy in 1887 and sent it to Virchow, who identified them as "pachydermia verrucosa laryngis". Virchow affirmed that the tissues were not cancerous, even after several biopsy tests. The Kaiser died on 15 June 1888. The next day a post-mortem examination was performed by Virchow and his assistant. They found that the larynx was extensively damaged due to ulcer, and microscopic examination confirmed epidermal carcinoma. Die Krankheit Kaiser Friedrich des Dritten (The Medical Report of Kaiser Frederick III) was published on 11 July under the lead authorship of Bergmann. But Virchow and Mackenzie were omitted, and they were particularly criticised for all their works.[48] The arguments between them turned into a century-long controversy, resulting in Virchow being accused of misdiagnosis and malpractice. But reassessment of the diagnostic history revealed that Virchow was right in his findings and decisions. It is now believed that the Kaiser had hybrid verrucous carcinoma, a very rare form of verrucous carcinoma, and that Virchow had no way of correctly identifying it.[49][50][51] (The cancer type was correctly identified only in 1948 by Lauren Ackerman.)[52][53]

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