Parasitic twins

08 noviembre 2007

The case of Lakshmi, a two-year-old girl born with four arms and four legs whose operation has been successfully completed, is a classical example of parasitic twins. Fetus in fetu may be a parasitic twin fetus growing within its host twin. Very early in a monozygotic twin pregnancy, in which both fetuses share a common placenta, one fetus wraps around and envelops the other. The enveloped twin becomes a parasite, in that its survival depends on the survival of its host twin, by drawing on the host twin's blood supply. The parasitic twin is anencephalic (without a brain) and lacks some internal organs, and as such is almost always unable to survive on its own.