50-year-old fetus inside a woman in Chile after going to the hospital in the city of San Antonio after she fell. An x-ray test revealed the presence of an object inside the woman’s abdomen that weighed around 4.4 pounds, according to AOL.
The woman, who is at least 92, had no idea she was carrying a calcified fetus for some 50 years. The phenomenon, known as a lithopedion, occurs when a fetus dies during pregnancy and then becomes calcified outside the uterus.
Previous recorded cases have also involved women being unaware of the presence of the fetus until decades later. Marco Vargas Lazo, the director of the hospital called the case “extraordinarily rare.”
50-year-old fetus found on x-ray was large and developed
The 50-year-old fetus was “large and developed and occupied all of her abdominal cavity,” he said. The patient has now been sent home and doctors say it is unlikely they will attempt to remove the unborn baby, given the risks an operation would carry for a patient of her age.
The patient was apparently unaware of the fetus prior to the x-ray discovery, and had not experienced any pain or discomfort associated with its presence. Because of this, her doctors have said they likely will not attempt to remove it — the risks of operation outweigh any potential benefits for the patient at her current age.
Apparently there have only been a few hundred cases recorded in medical history, and lithopedion can go undiagnosed and untreated for decades before the patient even realizes they have it.
Last year, an 82-year-old woman complaining of stomach pain was revealed to have a 40-year-old fetus inside her body. The Colombian woman went to a doctor in Bogota, they found a lithopedion inside her stomach.
Typically they are more than three months old and found in the abdomen. The unborn baby lacks circulation, which leads to extra calcium buildup.
Because it is so large, it cannot be absorbed by the body. Instead it becomes calcified until it is removed.
About one out of every 11,000 pregnancies will turn into a lithopedion. Most women do not know what happened or that they were even pregnant, so it can remain inside them for quite some time.
The first known case of a lithopedion was found in 1582 in a 68-year-old woman from Sens, France. It was estimated to be about 28 years old.
Although lithopedion is rare in almost all cases, it’s unlikely that the woman in Chile ever had complications form the 50-year-old fetus.