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A lithopedion. This highly unusual specimen remained in the abdomen of a woman for 55 years. During this time the mother had five additional uncomplicated pregnancies.
A lithopedion (Greek:litho = stone; pedion = 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.
A related condition is known as vanishing twin, in which the fetus is one of two or more sharing the uterus. If the fetus is older than eight weeks at the time of its death, and is retained in the uterus for at least ten weeks, it may undergo mechanical compression such that it takes on a flattened, mummified appearance with a surface texture resembling that of parchment.
 In popular culture
- A lithopedion figures is a central plot device in Samuel Hopkins Adams' 1944 novel, Canal Town.
- Italian writer Giorgio Manganelli addresses his reader as a "conversevole litopedio" (conversational lithopedion) in his 1964 treatise Hilarotragoedia.
- "Within the Walls of Tyre," a 1978 World Fantasy Award-nominated short story by Michael Bishop is about a woman who secretly cherishes her decades-old lithopedion.
- In the American graphic novel series Love and Rockets by Gilbert Hernandez a central character complains for decades about stomach cramps, which are eventually attributed to a lithopedion.
- In Will Self's 2000 novel How the Dead Live, the central character Lily Bloom is haunted by her singing lithopedion child after her death.
- In the Law & Order: Criminal Intent episode "In the Dark", a woman in the early stages of dementia who believes her daughter is alive is discovered to have a lithopedion.
- In the Nip/Tuck season three episode "Joy Kringle", a lithopedion is discovered during a routine liposuction.
- In the Australian TV series All Saints, a person with a lithopedian baby figured in the episode that aired 10 June 2008 (episode 434).
Το είχε η μητέρα μου. Καλή φάση, πρωτότυπο.
Σημείωση: Το μήνυμα αυτό γράφτηκε πάνω από 7 χρόνια πριν. Ο συντάκτης του πιθανόν να έχει αλλάξει απόψεις έκτοτε.