From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (June 2011)|
A lithopedion (Ancient Greek: λίθος = stone; Ancient Greek: παιδός = child), 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 oldest reported case is that of a 94-year old woman, whose lithopedion has been present for upwards of 60 years.
The condition was first described in a treatise by the physician Albucasis in the 10th century AD, but fewer than 300 cases have been noted in 400 years of medical literature. The earliest lithopedion is one found in an archaeological excavation, dated to 1100 BC.
According to one report there are only 300 reported cases of stone baby in the world. In February 2011, doctors in Andhra Pradesh, India removed a 35-year-old stone baby from a woman.
Alphabetical by author's last name