A baby in India was born “pregnant” with his half-formed twin in a rare case that has astonished the medical fraternity in the country.
Radiologist Bhavna Thorat said some mass with the presence of bones was discovered early July in the then foetus’ abdomen during a routine scan of the pregnant mother.
“In the post-natal scans, we spotted another half-formed baby with a brain, arm and legs in a foetal sac in the baby’s abdomen.
“The mother had conceived twins.
“But here a twin got enveloped in the body of another twin, leading to a condition of a host baby and its parasitic twin, who grew up to 13 weeks and then stopped.
“This was a rare case of foetus-in-foetus, a congenital anomaly in which a malformed and parasitic foetus grows inside the body of a baby,’’ Thorat added.
After his birth on July 20 at Bilal Hospital in Thane, near the western city of Mumbai, the baby underwent surgery recently to have the foetus removed.
Paediatric surgeons at a separate hospital operated on July 25 to remove the unborn twin, a male about 7 cm in length and weighing around 150 grammes.
Nichlani and Thorat said only 100 such cases have been documented worldwide.
“A foetus-in-foetus is estimated to occur once in every 500,000 live births,’’ Thorat said.
It can be implanted in skull, abdomen or tail bone of the host.
‘Sometimes it can also lead to the death of the host because both get nutrition from a single cord.
The 19-year-old mother and her son from Mumbra, in Thane city near Mumbai in India, are now both healthy and doing well.
Gynecologist Dr Neena Nichlani said: ‘It is a case of monozygotic twin pregnancy sharing single placenta, where one fetus wraps itself around and envelops the other and robs the host of its nutrition.