Doctors in China have removed a fetus from the brain of a 1-year-old girl.
The National Institutes of Health defines the condition, called fetus in fetu, “as the presence of one of the twins in the body of the other.” It is most frequently found in the abdominal area, but has been reported in other parts of the body. The condition occurs in about 1 in 500,000 live births.
The young girl demonstrated delayed motor skills, and couldn’t sit up on her own. However, she had no symptoms of intracranial hypertension — nausea, vomiting, irritability or deviated downward eyes — and showed full range of motion and normal muscle tone in her arms and legs.
She also had an enlarged head circumference. Normal head size for a 1-year-old girl is 41.88-46.81 centimeters. This child’s head measured 56.5 centimeters.
CT and MRI scans of her head revealed hydrocephalus (excessive water in the brain), a compressed brain and a fetiform mass (mass that looks like a fetus). ”The mass had a vertebral column, femur, and tibia,” MedPage Today wrote. “Imaging showed the fetus-in-fetu had spina bifida; when further examined, it also had upper limbs and finger-like buds.”
Doctors were able to surgically remove the fetus.
More details can be found in the journal Neurology.