Fetus in Fetu: A Case Report and Review of Literature

Author Information

Wobenjo A, MBChB., Osawa F, MBChB, MMed (Surgery), Kenyatta National Hospital

Corresponding author:

Dr. Adili Wobenjo., P.O Box 286-00202, Nairobi Email: adilihw@yahoo.com


Fetus-in-fetu is a rare congenital malformation in which a vertebra fetus is enclosed within the abdomen of a normally developing fetus. The preoperative diagnosis is challenging. Less than 200 cases are reported in English literature, five in Africa. Multiple fetuses-in-fetu are less documented. We report a three month old infant who presented with an abdominal mass and constipation and taken to theatre with a preoperative diagnosis of a teratoma. At operation, the mass was a case of twin fetuses in fetu with blood supply from the aorta and the left renal artery. Total excision of the mass with special attention to its blood supply was therapeutic. We emphasize the necessity for suspicion of fetus in fetu when a well-defined encapsulated cystic mass with calcified solid components is detected by an abdominal CT scan in a child less than 2 years of age.


The Annals of African Surgery is the official publication of the Surgical Society of Kenya.


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