A one year old chinese girl was treated for having the bulging skull and show certain motor problems. The CT scans that were carried out showed that his brain was compressed and with fluid accumulation due to a mass that was pressing on it. Logically, he underwent surgery and it was only then that the doctors discovered what was happening: the fetus of his twin brother had grown inside his brain, in a very rare case of what is know how fetus in fetu.
The doctors who treated her have briefly described the case in an article in the journal Neurology. In it, they explain that, although the fetus had not finished developing, it did have Superior limbs and even finger-like projections.
This is not the first time that something like this has been described, although it is true that cases of fetus in fetu, which occur in approximately 1 in 500,000 births, do not usually occur in the skull. It is a delicate place from which to extract the fetus and the report does not mention the recovery of the little girl. However, there are other similar case reports older ones where recovery went well.
Fetus in fetu: when your twin becomes a parasite
The twin pregnancies They occur when a single spermatozoon fertilizes a single ovum, to give a single zygote, which later It is divided in two. That’s normal. But it may be that the division is not done correctly and one of the two twins involves the other. This is how the fetus in fetu occurs. One fetus is immersed in the body of the other and furthermore continues to develop as it can take advantage of its sibling’s blood supply.
It does not fully develop, but it does develop in part, as has been seen in the case of this Chinese girl. Once detected, it is important remove themsince they can cause health problems in the short term, as in the case of this girl, or in the long term become malignant tumors.
Sometimes cases of fetus in fetu can be confused with teratomas. These are encapsulated tumors that contain tissue or organ components, such as hair or teeth. The best way to tell them apart is to check for vertebrae or complete internal organs. In that case, it is usually a fetus in fetu. Although on this occasion such verification was hardly necessary, since the fetal shape of the mass that was removed from the girl was clearly visible.
Babies ‘pregnant’ by their siblings
In the case of this Chinese girl, the absorption of the second fetus took place during the folding of the neural plate. This is the embryonic layer that later becomes the brain and other components of the nervous system. Therefore, the fetus was in the little girl’s skull.
But it is not the most common. Most cases of fetus in fetu, about 80%are given in the abdomen. For this reason, when the news reaches the media we can read headlines such as “A pregnant baby is born to her twin sister.” It is not a pregnancy, of course. It has absolutely nothing to do. But it is a baby with another baby inside the abdomen, hence the comparison. There have also been cases where the undeveloped twin has been in other parts of the body, such as the sacral area or even the scrotum. There are all kinds. This girl had to have her brother in her head. Luckily he could be removed, now we just have to hope that everything went well.