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Saudi Med J. 2012 Apr;33(4):444-8.

Fetus-in-fetu. Imaging and pathology.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Riyadh Military Hospital, PO Box 7897, Riyadh 11159, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.


Fetus-in-fetu (FIF), also known as endoparasitic twin, is a form of asymmetric fetal duplication in which the abnormal developing embryo parasitizes the normal co-twin by attaching internally. Here, we report a case of FIF presented as an intra-abdominal cystic mass, which was first detected during an antenatal ultrasound examination of a 32-year-old Saudi mother. At 34 weeks and 4 days of gestation, she had spontaneous labor and delivered a baby boy. The x-ray and CT examination of the baby boy clearly suggested the presence of limbs, vertebral column, and anomalous blood supply to the mass. After laparotomy and surgical removal, the intra-abdominal mass was subjected to detailed pathological examination. Microscopic studies further showed the presence of brain tissue, gut-like structures, fingers, and limbs. The mass was finally confirmed as FIF.

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