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J Med Case Rep. 2010 Mar 25;4:96. doi: 10.1186/1752-1947-4-96.

Twin fetus in fetu in a child: a case report and review of the literature.

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  • 1Department of Pediatric Surgery, Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India.



Fetus in fetu is an extremely rare condition wherein a malformed fetus is found in the abdomen of its twin. This entity is differentiated from teratoma by its embryological origin, its unusual location in the retroperitoneal space, and the presence of vertebral organization with limb buds and well-developed organ systems. The literature cites less than 100 cases worldwide of twin fetus in fetu.


A two-and-a-half-month-old Asian Indian baby boy had two malformed fetuses in his abdomen. The pre-operative diagnosis was made by performing an ultrasound and a 64-slice computer tomography scan of the baby's abdomen. Two fetoid-like masses were successfully excised from the retroperitoneal area of his abdomen. A macroscopic examination, an X-ray of the specimen after operation, and the histological features observed were suggestive of twin fetus in fetu.


Fetus in fetu is an extremely rare condition. Before any operation is carried out on a patient, imaging studies should first be conducted to differentiate this condition from teratoma. Surgical excision is a curative procedure, and a macroscopic examination of the sac should be done after twin or multiple fetus in fetu are excised.

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