Document Detail

The earliest known case of a lithopaedion.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  8709075     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
A lithopaedion, or stone-child, is a dead fetus, usually the result of a primary or secondary abdominal pregnancy, that has been retained by the mother and subsequently calcified. This paper describes the earliest known case of this phenomenon. It was discovered in 1582, at the autopsy of a 68-year-old woman in the French city of Sens, and described in a thesis by the physician Jean d'Ailleboust. The woman had carried her lithopaedion for 28 years. In this historical vignette, the lithopaedion of Sens is compared to later instances of this phenomenon. The ultimate fate of the lithopaedion specimen, which was widely traded throughout Europe in the 1600s before finally ending up in Copenhagen, is traced.
J Bondeson
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Biography; Historical Article; Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine     Volume:  89     ISSN:  0141-0768     ISO Abbreviation:  J R Soc Med     Publication Date:  1996 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1996-09-12     Completed Date:  1996-09-12     Revised Date:  2009-11-18    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7802879     Medline TA:  J R Soc Med     Country:  ENGLAND    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  13-8     Citation Subset:  IM; Q    
Department of Rheumatology, University of Lund, Sweden.
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MeSH Terms
Calcinosis / history*
Fetal Death / history*
History, 16th Century
Medical Illustration / history
Obstetrics / history*
Pregnancy, Abdominal / history
Personal Name Subject
Personal Name Subject:
J D'Ailleboust
Comment In:
J R Soc Med. 1996 Jul;89(7):420   [PMID:  8774545 ]

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