Rare Medical Anomaly: A Fetus Found Growing in a Child’s Skull

Rare Medical Anomaly: A Fetus Found Growing in a Child's Skull
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Shocking Discovery


In a star­tling med­ical case, a 1‑year-old girl in Chi­na was found to have a fetus grow­ing inside her skull. This exceed­ing­ly rare con­di­tion, known as fetus in fetu, affects rough­ly 1 in every 500,000 births.

Dangerous Complications


Doc­tors at Peking Uni­ver­si­ty Inter­na­tion­al Hos­pi­tal in Bei­jing dis­cov­ered the abnor­mal­i­ty dur­ing a rou­tine check­up at 33 weeks of the girl’s devel­op­ment. The fetus had formed fea­tures like bones, a spine, and the begin­nings of eyes, limbs, and a mouth.

Attempted Surgical Removal


Neu­ro­sur­geons per­formed an oper­a­tion to remove the fetus-con­tain­ing tis­sue from the child’s skull. How­ev­er, the dam­age to her brain was too severe, and she trag­i­cal­ly passed away with­in two weeks of the surgery.

Mysteries Surrounding the Condition
Causes Remain Unknown


Experts are still unsure what exact­ly caus­es this rare con­di­tion. Some the­o­ries sug­gest it may be relat­ed to envi­ron­men­tal fac­tors, genet­ics, or issues with egg divi­sion dur­ing devel­op­ment in the womb.

Extremely Rare Occurrence


Only 18 cas­es of fetus in fetu occur­ring with­in the skull have ever been report­ed. In 80% of cas­es, the absorbed fetal tis­sue lodges in the abdomen, where it can often be removed suc­cess­ful­ly. But when it affects the head, the out­come is near­ly always fatal.

Tragic Outcome


Despite the med­ical team’s best efforts, the 1‑year-old girl’s con­di­tion was too severe, and she did not sur­vive the attempt­ed sur­gi­cal pro­ce­dure to remove the fetus from her skull. This heart­break­ing case under­scores the rar­i­ty and dan­ger of this unusu­al med­ical anomaly.

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