Fetus in Fetus

Fetus in Fetus


Fetus in Fetus

It is very rare when a woman is gestating multiple kids has such an anomaly, as fetus in the fetus, in other words, fetus-parasite.

What is Fetus-Parasite?

The fetus-parasite is called the phenomenon of pregnancy of twins, which occurs only with the enzygotic twins with one common placenta and one caul. The fetus-parasite has a complex of various malformations, it usually has no brain and only the hands and feet develop, while the second fetus, which is the "master" of fetus-parasite, develops normally, but it can have some abnormalities in those bodies where the parasite develops.

The Cause of this Anomaly

Scientists cannot identify the exact causes of the anomaly in multi-fetal pregnancy.

The study found that it is most likely to occur not with genetic disorders, but the conducive factors are:

  • administration of medications by the mother in the first days after conception;
  • prolonged exposure of a woman's body to chemical vapors or components;
  • long work of a woman with poisons before pregnancy.

The Likelihood of Twin-Parasite

fetus parasite

This anomaly is fairly rare and occurs in only 1 case of half a million of multiple pregnancies, and the phenomenon is prevalent among male fetuses. The fetus in the fetus is formed at the earliest stages of embryogenesis, where both embryos are merely the accumulation of separated cells not differentiated on the tissue. Against the background of different vascular disorders fewer cells of one of the future twins are introduced or attached to cells of a more "strong" and large embryo, where it continues its development.

At the time of formation of vascular anastomosis the blood supply to the fetus-parasite stops, resulting that it no longer can fully develop. At this stage a viable fetus, that is the "master", is separated from the body of the parasite by a protective capsule filled with fluid inside. The parasitizing organism is in this capsule that, through the hole, resembling umbilical, gets all the necessary nutrients and oxygen from his brother or sister.

Location of Twin-Parasite

The fetus-parasite can be in any part of the body of a healthy child – in the head, abdomen, pelvis, kidneys. With favorable progress the fetus-master is separated from the "parasite" by the capsule, in which it is located and through a small opening gets nourishment from a healthy child, in the most severe cases, the parasite grows in the internal organs of the second fetus that can cause fetal death or underdevelopment of the "master".

The Risk of Twin-Parasite for the Mom and the Second Fetus

For the future mom the twin-parasite poses no threat because the body mistakenly interprets it as one of the fetuses of the twins and continues to nourish and nurture.

The fetus-parasite poses a serious threat for the body of the second child:

  • The body of the fetus-master does not receive enough oxygen and nutrients, as it is all absorbed by "parasite";
  • If the parasite gets in the internal organs of a healthy child there may be an abnormality of their development, in which the fetus-master is born prematurely, dies in utero or born with severe abnormalities.

Is the Favorable Outcome Possible?

The outcome of this pathology with multiple pregnancy depends on how exactly the fetus-parasite is located, but in any case the treatment is carried out surgically. During the operation the doctors completely remove the parasitizing organism from the organism of a healthy child.

If the parasite is completely separated from the organism of the "master" by the capsule, the operation is easy for medics, the capsule together with the fetus- parasite is removed and the healthy baby begins to grow like a normal child.

If the parasite body extends directly in the internal organs of a healthy child, the operation involves a risk, sometimes during the operation both the "parasite" and the "master" die.

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