Lithopadion (petrified fetus ) is a fetus that died in the process of prenatal development and calcified. Depending on the stage of development, the dead fetus undergoes various changes. The fruit that died before 12 weeks, most often resolves. If the fetus died after 12 weeks, when its skeleton was formed, resorption is impossible. There is only the absorption of amniotic fluid, and the fetus itself is most often subjected to maceration (see), less often - mummification (see). In the latter case, it shrinks, squeezes; the so-called paper fruit is formed. Even less often - when lime salts are deposited in the mummified tissues of the fetus - petrification occurs (petrification) and lithopadion is formed.
The timing of lithopagedion in the mother's body varies (from several weeks to several years). A prolonged stay of lithopadion usually does not affect the general condition of the woman.
Lithopadion (from the Greek. Lithos - stone and paid ion - child) - petrified (calcified) fruit. The dead and remaining for a long time in the body of the mother with the skeleton that has already formed may undergo an accumulation, drying (mummification) with the subsequent deposition of lime salts - petrification, incorrectly called ossification by some authors (no real bone formation occurs). Fetal calcification usually occurs as a result of ectopic pregnancy, but isolated L. cases are also described in the uterine cavity.
The classification of the Küchenmeister fossilized fruits is generally accepted: 1) lithokelyphos (Greek kelyphos - shell), in which only fetal membranes undergo calcification, the fruit itself is mummified or macerated; 2) lithokelyphopedion, in which the amniotic fluid is absorbed and the fruit grows together in whole or in part with the shells; calcification begins with the membrane and gradually seizes the adjacent parts of the fetus; this type L. is the most frequent; 3) lithopadion - calcification of the fetus devoid of membranes, as is the case with secondary abdominal pregnancy. Topically L. may be located in the same place as the embryo.
The length of time lithopaged in the mother's body is not constant. In the case described by Küchenmeister, he reached 57 years. Microscopic examination of the structure of most organs (liver, kidneys, lungs, skin, mucous membranes, etc.) is quite distinguishable; the brain and blood are transformed into an unstructured, cholesterol-rich mass. The transverse muscle banding is particularly well preserved. Lime salts are deposited in L. from maternal blood. The stay of L. in the mother's body is often not accompanied by any special symptoms; there are cases when women who had L. in the abdominal cavity, which corresponds to a full-term fetus, successfully proceeded with a new pregnancy and normal delivery occurred. In rare cases, the development of connective tissue adhesions around L. may lead to intestinal obstruction.