Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Calcified Stone Baby (Lithopedion)

Hot!  If you don't die during a tubal pregnancy and your fallopian tubes don't rupture, you can grow one of these little calcified things that look like a rotting turkey, fantastic!  I think I will go get a DNC now.

The embedded documentary, which you may watch at full length in the player below, discusses a 75-year-old Moroccan woman who gave birth to a "stone baby" 46 years after it was conceived.

In addition, a British woman describes her ectopic pregnancy, in which her baby developed outside the womb.  This almost always leads to the baby's death, but in one of the cases, a boy who developed in the stomach lining and was delivered two months early, survived as one of triplets -- at odds of around 60 million to one.

Via Wikipedia:  Lithopedia may occur from 14 weeks gestation to full term. It is not unusual for a stone baby to remain undiagnosed for decades, and it is often not until a patient is examined for other conditions or a proper examination is conducted that includes an X-ray, that a stone baby is found.

The condition was first described in a treatise by the physician Albucasis in the 10th century, but fewer than 300 cases have been noted in 400 years of medical literature. The earliest lithopedion is one found in an archaeological excavation at Bering Sinkhole, on the Edwards Plateau in Kerr County, Texas dated to 1100 BC. Another early example was found in a Gallo-Roman archaeological site in Costebelle, southern France, dating to the 4th century.

In 1880, German physician Friedrich Küchenmeister reviewed 47 cases of lithopedia from the medical literature and identified three subgroups: Lithokelyphos ("Stone Sheath"), where calcification occurs on the placental membrane and not the fetus; Lithotecnon ("Stone Son") or "true" lithopedion, where the fetus itself is calcified after entering the abdominal cavity, following the rupture of the placental and ovarian membranes; and Lithokelyphopedion ("Stone Sheath [and] Child"), where both fetus and sac are calcified. Lithopedia can originate both as tubal or ovarian pregnancies.

According to one report there are only 300 known cases of stone baby in the world.  The chance of abdominal pregnancy is one in 11,000 pregnancies; only between 1.5 and 1.8% of abdominal pregnancies develop into lithopedia.