A newborn girl in China was found to be carrying twins inside her. Or in other words, pregnant with own siblings on birth. The doctors attending on her saw an odd mass between her liver and left kidney after she was born and presumed it to be tumor, but they later found that it was […]
A newborn girl in China was found to be carrying twins inside her. Or in other words, pregnant with own siblings on birth. The doctors attending on her saw an odd mass between her liver and left kidney after she was born and presumed it to be tumor, but they later found that it was area case of fetus-in-fetu, in which a partially developed fetus gets absorbed inside another normally developing fetus inside the same womb.
The girl was otherwise healthy and weighed nearly 9 pound on birth. Fetus-in-fetu is said to be a rare condition. After the recent case hit local headlines, the Hong Kong Medical Journal carried out a case study on it this month and revealed that it was known to affect nearly 1 in 500,000 births. There have been 200 documented cases of it till date.
Out of the two fetuses (which the doctors say are 8 to 10 weeks old), one weighed half an ounce while the other weighed a third of an ounce.
Though extremely small, each of them was far along enough to show a clearly developed spine, intestines, bones with bone marrow, “primitive” brain matter, a rib cage and an umbilical cord, according to the study.
The study authors said the partially formed fetuses and the baby girl shared the same DNA, fitting a popular theory that the woman was initially pregnant with identical triplets, but researchers aren’t sure this is what happened.
The WHO has gone on to suggest that fetus-in-fetu does not refer to ‘absorption’ of siblings, as is commonly believed but is a type of cancer called mature teratoma.
The doctors carried out a surgery on the ‘pregnant’ baby after she turned two weeks old and were able to remove her ‘dead’ siblings from inside her.