HONG KONG —
A phenomenon that caused a developing fetus to absorb two other fertilized eggs made it appear the baby girl was born pregnant with twins.
But what appeared to be two fetuses were actually tumors that developed from the absorbed eggs.
Both of the absorbed eggs had started growing limbs, ribs, intestines and skin, as well as an umbilical cord and placenta, after 8 to 10 weeks of gestation.
The girl was born in 2010; the fetal tumors were removed when she was two weeks old, and she recovered fully. The case was reported in the Hong Kong Medical Journal this week.
The phenomenon is not unknown. It’s called “fetus in fetu” and may happen as often as once in every 500,000 births, even though it has been documented only 200 times.
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