According to a recent case report, a teenage girl in India had a bizarre mass of bones, teeth and "hairy cheese" in her stomach. It was her own "twin" that grew in her, the result of an extremely rare condition called "fetus in fetu".
The 17-year-old went to the doctor after developing a lump in her abdomen that had gradually increased in size over the past five years, according to the report, published on August 12 in the journal BMJ Case Reports. The teenager told the doctors that sometimes she had stomach aches and a sense of fullness, even though she had not eaten much.
A CT scan revealed that the teenager had a large mass in her stomach that appeared to contain multiple bones that "resembled the shape of vertebrae, ribs, and long bones," the authors wrote.
Physicians diagnosed fetal fetus in the adolescent, a condition that is estimated to occur only in about 1 in 500,000 people worldwide.
The new case is even more unusual because it was diagnosed in teenagers, whereas most of the previous cases occurred in infancy or early childhood, the authors said. In addition, the mass seems to be the largest that has ever been discovered in such a case.
The term "fetus in" fetus ", which literally means" fetus in the fetus ", is usually defined as a condition in which a developmentally abnormal fetus is found in the body of its otherwise healthy twin, Live Science previously reported.
Less than 200 cases of fetus per year In the medical literature, fetus has been reported, and of these, according to the authors, only seven persons aged 15 years or older were reported.
It is not clear what causes fetus in fetus. However, according to Arizona State University, the disease is likely to be a rare case of "parasitic twins," in which an identical twin is absorbed by the other during early pregnancy. According to a 2010 review of parasitic twins published in the Journal of Pediatric Surgery, the tissue of the parasitic twin depends on the body system of the "host" twins, to survive is actually a type of teratoma – a type of tumor that all three major cell types of an early human embryo can contain.
In this case the teenager had to be operated on to remove the mass. When the doctors took it out, the mass was about two-thirds the size of a full-time baby: it measured 36 by 16 by 10 inches and consisted of hairy, cheesy material, several teeth, and structures resembling limb buds, "the authors wrote. It also contained skin, hair and adipose tissue, they said.
Doctors, however, were unable to remove all parasitic twin tissue from the teenager's body – they had to leave some of this tissue behind because it was too tightly attached to the vessels carrying the gastrointestinal tract Supply blood. The doctors feared that removing the attached tissue could affect the blood flow to the juvenile gut.
However, when this tissue is admitted, it becomes possible for it to become cancerous, and therefore the juvenile animal must be examined every year, authors said. So far, two years have passed since the operation, and she is fine, the report said.
"I was worried about my abdominal lump," the teenager was quoted in the report. "After the surgery, I feel very well … and my parents are also very happy."
* Released by livescience.com