An Indian woman is thought to have had the world’s longest ectopic pregnancy after doctors removed the skeleton of a baby that had been inside her for nearly four decades. Kantabai Thakre became pregnant at the age of 24, in 1978.
At the time doctors warned the expectant mother her unborn child had little chance of survival, after it was found to be growing outside of her womb. Terrified at the thought of an operation, she fled and sought treatment for the pain at a small clinic. Months later when the pain subsided, Ms Thakre was convinced the problem had been treated.
But 36 years later, the now 60-year-old started to experience constant pain in her stomach. She visited doctors at the NKP Salve Institute of Medical Sciences, in the central Indian city of Nagpur. Doctors felt a lump on her lower right side and a sonography and CT scan discovered a mass made of hard, calcified matter.
Dr Murtaza Akhtar, head of surgery at the hospital, said: ‘She was complaining of consistent pain in her abdomen and she had urinary problems with high fever. ‘Then we found a lump on her right side but we feared it was cancer. ‘After she went for an MRI and CT scan we could make out that it was actually a matured skeleton encapsulated in a calcified sac.
‘When we asked her for her medical history she told us that she was pregnant in 1978 but her child had died. ‘She told us she had got scared and went home to her village without ever removing the fetus. ‘She only took some treatment from her local a health centre. ‘It could be the world’s longest ectopic pregnancy.’
The team searched for medical literature on similar cases and found a Belgian woman who had retained the remains of an ectopic pregnancy for 18 years, the longest period they could find on record. Dr Mohammad Yunus Shah, added: ‘We believe this could be the longest case on record at 38 years.
‘We asked for a detailed medical history and all we could get was that the patient’s brother told us that in 1978 she was pregnant and had some complications.
‘She apparently knew that the baby had died and that she would need an operation, and we gathered she got scared at the prospect of surgery and so went away to her village without undergoing the operation.’
The team of surgeons discovered a mass containing a matured skeleton encapsulated in a calcified sac. The mass was found between the uterus, the intestines and bladder, densely stuck to all the organs.
‘The amniotic fluid that protects the foetus might have been absorbed and the soft tissues liquefied over time with only a bag of bones with some fluid remaining,’ Dr Shah said.
‘For the last few months, the patient was experiencing pain and urinary problems with fever. He said this was caused by the mass compressing the urinary system, compromising the functioning of the kidneys.
Source: Daily Mail