Know : A woman can be pregnant for 65 years! : Lithopedion (Stone baby)

pregnant-womanlithopedion – also spelled lithopaedion or lithopædion – or stone baby, is a rare phenomenon which occurs most commonly when a fetus dies during an abdominal pregnancy, is too large to be reabsorbed by the body, and calcifies on the outside, shielding the mother’s body from the dead tissue of the baby and preventing infection.

Lithopedia may occur from 14 weeks gestation to full term. It is not unusual for a stone baby to remain undiagnosed for decades, and it is often not until a patient is examined for other conditions or a proper examination is conducted that includes an X-ray, that a stone baby is found.

The condition was first described in a treatise by the physician Albucasis in the 10th century, but fewer than 300 cases have been noted in 400 years of medical literature. The earliest lithopedion is one found in an archaeological excavation at Bering Sinkhole, on the Edwards Plateau in Kerr County, Texas dated to 1100 BC. Another early example was found in a Gallo-Roman archaeological site in Costebelle, southern France, dating to the 4th Century AD.

In 1880, German physician Friedrich Küchenmeister reviewed 47 cases of lithopedia from the medical literature and identified three subgroups: Lithokelyphos (“Stone Sheath”), where calcification occurs on the placental membrane and not the fetus; Lithotecnon(“Stone Son”) or “true” lithopedion, where the fetus itself is calcified after entering the abdominal cavity, following the rupture of the placental and ovarian membranes; and Lithokelyphopedion (“Stone Sheath [and] Child”), where both fetus and sac are calcified. Lithopedia can originate both as tubal or ovarian pregnancies.

Reported cases

According to one report there are only 300 known cases of stone baby in the world. The chance of abdominal pregnancy is one in 11,000 pregnancies; only between 1.5 and 1.8% of abdominal pregnancies develop into lithopedia.

Patient
(Age at time of operation)
Location Date of Pregnancy Date of Removal
(Case Duration)
Additional Information
Colombe Chatri (68)* Sens Kingdom of France 1554 1582 (28 years) Chatri became pregnant for the first time at 40, but never gave birth after breaking her water and going through labor pains. She was bedridden for the next three years, during which she could notice a hard tumor on her lower abdomen, and complained of tiredness and abdominal pains for the rest of her life. After her death, her widower requested two physicians to examine her body, who discovered a fully formed, petrified baby girl, with remains of hair and a single tooth.
Anna Mullern (94)* LeinzellSwabia Holy Roman Empire 1674 1720 (46 years) Aged 48, Mullern became pregnant, broke her water and went through labor pains for seven weeks without giving birth, retaining a swollen belly afterwards. She would suffer pain when exercizing for the rest of her life, but she was able to become pregnant again and gave birth to a healthy boy and girl. Convinced that she had been pregnant and carried the previous baby with her still, Mullern made the local physician and surgeon swear that they would open her body after her death. The physician didn’t survive her, but the elderly surgeon fulfilled his promise with the help of his son, finding “a hard mass of the form and size of a large Ninepin-Bowl” that contained a petrified fetus inside.
Randi Jonsdatter(50) KvikneHedmarkDenmark Norway 1803 1813 (10 years) Patient “gave birth” to a petrified baby divided in two parts through a cut over the belly button. She lived for many years after without problem.
Rebecca Eddy (77)* FrankfortNew York United States 1802? 1852 (c.50 years) Aged 27 and in her first pregnancy, Eddy went through what seemed to be labor pains after an accident with a large kettle over the fire, but the pains disappeared a few days later and she never gave birth. William H. H. Parkhurst examined her in 1842, noting the “largeness, hardness and irregularity” of her abdominal lump; he would perform her autopsy in front of 20 witnesses when she died a decade later. During the process Parkhurst found “a perfect formed child… weighing 6 poundsavordepois” who “had no adhesions or connections with the mother except to the Falopian Tubes, and the blood vessels which nourished it, and which were given off from the mesenteric arteriesthe child was almost floating in the abdomen.”
Unknown(54) Flag of Jamaica (1957-1962).svg Jamaica 1957 1966 (9 years) The patient, who had given birth previously, had a swollen belly and noted movement inside, but did not believe she was pregnant because she continued to bleed, albeit irregularly. The movements ceased shortly after being admitted to a Kingston hospital but the bleeding and pain continued until she was operated on 8 months later. Although her belly had deflated, the patient still felt a mass inside, but was told by her doctor that it wasn’t important. The pain resumed years later, when the woman had migrated to TorontoCanada, and she was relieved of an oval-shaped, calcified mass of 8 X 4 X 3 cm.
Unknown(60)  Thailand 1959 1987 (28 years)  
Unknown(76)  Republic of China 1950 1999 (49 years) Patient was originally diagnosed with a benign tumor in 1950, but refused the operation to extract it.
Unknown(40)  Brazil 1982 2000 (18 years) The “patient reported regular abdominal growth and healthy fetal activity from a pregnancy that happened 18 years earlier. She had never done pre-natal follow-up. In the third trimester, she had started to feel strong cramps in the lower abdomen at the same time that fetal activity disappeared. She had not looked for medical assistance and some weeks later she had eliminated a dark red mass through the vagina with a placental appearance. She had experienced the characteristic modifications of breast lactation. The abdomen had started to decrease but retained an infra-umbilical mass of about 20 centimeters in diameter, mobile and painless.”
Zahra Aboutalib(75) Grand Casablanca Morocco 1955 2001 (46 years) Probably the most documented case. Heavily pregnant, Aboutalib went through labor pains for 48 hours at her own home before being taken to a hospital, where she was scheduled for a cesarean section. However, after witnessing another young woman dying during the procedure she feared for her life and fled the hospital. The pain ceased days later and didn’t return for 46 years, when the still unidentified lithopedion was initially mistaken for an ovarian tumor. Aboutalib never bore children again after her ectopic pregnancy, but adopted three.
Unknown(80)  South Africa c.1960 2001 (c.40 years)  
Unknown(33)  Ghana 1990 2002 (12 years) Third pregnancy after two natural abortions. Patient experienced abdominal pain, bilateral tubal blockage and infertility.
Unknown(40)  India 1999 2007 (8 years) Only known case of twin lithopedia. One embryo grew in each ovary until both died 5 months into development; the patient assumed she had suffered a normal natural abortion. She had pain in both sides of the lower abdomen through the following 8 years, when it was joined by abdominal distention, vomiting and intestinal constipation.
Unknown(31) CurarenFrancisco Morazán Honduras 1995 2008 (13 years) The ectopic pregnancy happened shortly after the birth of the patient’s first child. Afterwards she was pregnant seven times more, giving birth to her last child just two months before the diagnosis.
Unknown(69) Northern Cape South Africa 1986 Discovered in 2011 after 25 years; not extracted Fourth pregnancy, when the patient was aged 44. Resulted in infertility, which was taken for a case of early menopause, but was otherwise asymptomatic.
Unknown(37) Malongo Democratic Republic of the Congo 2009 2011 (3 years) Patient went through the same experience as in her previous eight pregnancies, but “the baby never came out”. Surgeons retrieved a calcified 32 weeks fetus from the abdominal cavity; the ovaries and uterus were intact and the patient had her period regularly.
Unknown(32) Santa Clara, Waspam Nicaragua 2010 2011 (35 weeks) Patient in her third pregnancy. Was hospitalized because she didn’t note fetal movement anymore.
Antamma(70) MominpurWest Bengal India 1977 2012 (35 years) Admitted to hospital after complaining of stomach pain for some time. The patient had delivered three healthy children after this incomplete pregnancy.
Huang Yijun(92)  People’s Republic of China 1948 2013 (65 years) Longest known case. Patient was informed that the fetus had died inside her in 1948, but didn’t remove it earlier for lack of money.

* After natural death of the patient.

Courtesy & Source : Wikipedia and Facebook.

One thought on “Know : A woman can be pregnant for 65 years! : Lithopedion (Stone baby)

  1. Pingback: Propel Steps : Archive : 2013 : All Posts | PROPEL STEPS

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