A head and neck surgeon's consideration of king hyojong's poisoning: Fatal facial abscess

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and Objectives The King Hyojong was the 17th King of the Chosun dynasty from 1649 to 1659. He is well known for his plan for northern campaigns against the Manchus (Bukbeol), an act of vengeance on the Qing dynasty for the war of 1636. His plan for the northern conquest was never put into action since he suddenly died of small boil on face in 40 years old. After his death, the reason of his sudden death was questioned by the public. Many people suspected him of being killed by poison. We studied and considered the cause of King Hyojong's death based on two tremendous Chosun dynasty's official records. Materials and Method We reviewed Joseon Wangjo Sillok (the annals of the Joseon dynasty) and Seungjeongwon Ilgi (the diaries of royal secretariat of the Joeson dynasty). Results King Hyojong had congenital pre-auricular fistula. He also had been suffering from diabetes and its related complications for a long time before his death. His pre-auricular fistula was infected and not managed properly. It could be presumed that King Hyojong's cause of death was hypovolemic shock from fatal injury of superficial temporal artery caused by inappropriate incision and drainage. Conclusion We assumed a historical person's cause of death based on Chosun dynasty's official records.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)463-470
Number of pages8
JournalKorean Journal of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Korean Journal of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.


  • Cause of death
  • Joseon Wangjo Sillok
  • King Hyojong
  • Seungjeongwon Ilgil


Dive into the research topics of 'A head and neck surgeon's consideration of king hyojong's poisoning: Fatal facial abscess'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this