The aim of this study was to review all Pubmed(®)-listed palaeopathological studies performed on pre-Columbian South American mummies. A total of 61 studies were found (1977-2005). Review criteria included e.g. method of examination, method of mummification, palaeopathological diagnoses and individual age of mummies as well as dating, which ranged from 7500 to 500 years BP, mainly (if reported) originating from the Chiribaya and Chinchorro cultures. The average age of the 99 individually reported mummies was about 25 years. Only six studies included computed tomography, thirteen studies used classical radiography as an examination method. Three studies analysed parasite related diseases, especially caused by Trypanosoma cruzi. Among all of the reported infectious diseases (n=9), there were seven studies presenting cases of tuberculosis. The results were also compared inter-culturally. In 61 studies (37 epidemiological and 24 case reports) more than 6400 mummified individuals were analysed. By contrast, meta-analytic data for ancient Egyptian mummies (Zweifel et al., 2009) included about 3000 analysed individuals in 131 studies (85 case reports and 46 epidemiological studies). In general, ancient Egyptian mummies were shown to be intentionally mummified, whereas the Pre-Columbian American mummies showed a great diversity of spontaneous mummification. However, ritualistic mummification methods were also practised (n=2). This study's results shall assist to improve evidence-based research in palaeopathology.