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Lithopaedion (stone baby) is the name given to an extrauterine pregnancy that evolves to foetal death and calcification. There are around 300 cases reported in the world medical literature to date. We report the case of a 40-year-old woman who presented with features of acute intestinal obstruction (abdominal distention, vomiting and absolute constipation) for a week. She had a past history of a missed abortion in the fifth month of gestation, eight years prior to this presentation, one which we thought to be irrelevant to the present illness. However, complementary investigations, including scout abdominal radiographs and ultrasonography of the abdomen and pelvis, were done before the operation. The abdominal radiograph showed two opaque globular masses on either side of the lower abdomen with distended small intestinal loops. Exploratory laparotomy was performed and a portion of strangulated small bowel attached to a solid globular mass behind the left ovary was removed, with a subsequent resection of the gut and end-to-end anastomosis. Upon removal of a thick membrane from the globular mass, a dead five-month-old calcified foetus was recovered. In the right iliac fossa, a similar mass was removed and another dead calcified foetus of similar age was recovered.
Keywords: abdominal pregnancy, foetal death, intestinal obstruction, lithopaedion
Singapore Med J 2007; 48(9): 866–868