The person whose X-ray appears here was unfortunate enough to have an autoimmune condition – Wegener’s Syndrome. The name itself is disapproved of. Wegener who described the condition in 1936 was known to be a follower of the Nazi regime. He worked close to the genocide machinery at Lodz, was wanted by the Polish authorities, and investigated by the UN War Crimes Commission. There is a strong move to change the name.
This is a disfiguring vasculitis affecting nose and mouth, kidneys, lungs. Before introduction of steroid treatment it was universally fatal within months. After that cyclophosphamide treatment was a major breakthrough giving an average five year survival, though treatment can still be problematic.
The X-ray image here is broken into several components which do not overlap exactly. The outlines break up like molten lead spilled on the ground. It overlies a pine forest through which the colours of a spirit-like shape can be seen flowing to the foreground. At the front the sun breaks through the shadows highlighting the pine needles over the region of the heart.