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Fetus in Fetu or Teratoma: A Report of Four Cases and Literature Review - Abstract

Iftikhar Ahmad Jan, Basmah Al Hamoudi, Murthi Shiniwas




We reviewed our four cases labeled as fetus in fetu with the purpose to understand the gross, radiological and histological appearance but also the outcome of these masses.


The diagnostic criteria included a teratomatous mass containing axial skeleton that was confirmed by radiologic examination of the mass.


Of the four patients, three were female and one male. Two babies were three months of age, one 18 months and one 5 years. The masses were located in the retro-peritoneum in two cases, one was sacrococcygeal and one was presacral also attached to the coccyx. Complete excision was possible in all the patients and all were symptoms free two year after surgery with no recurrence. The histopathology of the masses showed derivatives from various embryological germ layers.


The initial proposition that fetus in fetu is a parasitic twin may be true in cases of retroperitoneal masses however the presence of fetus in fetu in the sacrococygeal area supports the theory that it develops form of mature teratoma. The important fact is that fetus in fetu offers a cure in most cases after complete resection.

Keywords: fetus in fetu, teratoma, parasitic twins, duplication


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