In what’s been described as an extremely rare medical occurrence, a baby girl was born in a Hong Kong hospital with a pair of fetuses growing inside of her body.
The girl, born to mainland parents at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in November 2010, successfully underwent surgery at just three weeks old to remove the fetuses. The unusual condition is known as “fetus-in-fetu”, and a study about the baby girl’s case was just published in the latest issue of the Hong Kong Medical Journal.
The fetuses were connected with umbilical cords to a placenta-like mass, and each one had four limbs, skin, a ribcage, intestines and some brain tissue. They were believed to be of eight to 10 weeks of gestation.
The condition is incredibly rare, occurring only 1 in every 500,000 births in the world, doctors say. Less than 200 cases have ever been documented.
The mass was classified by WHO as a variant of mature teratoma, a type of cancer, but researchers behind the recent report believe that it is the result of demised multiple pregnancy. The report said that “more evidence is needed to confirm either theory.”