Abdominal pregnancy in a 67-year-old woman undetected for 37 years. A case report

J Reprod Med. 1999 Jul;44(7):633-5.


Background: Abdominal pregnancy is an exceedingly rare occurrence, but even more unusual is prolonged retention of an advanced abdominal pregnancy with lithopedion formation. We present the case of prolonged retention of an advanced abdominal pregnancy in an elderly women.

Case: A 67-year-old, white woman presented to the emergency department with abdominal pain. An acute abdominal series revealed a fetal skeleton extending from the patient's pelvis to her lower costal margins. Pelvic examination revealed a normal postmenopausal uterus, and human chorionic gonadotropin was negative. On further questioning the patient reported that she had become pregnant 37 years earlier and was diagnosed as having a "missed" pregnancy. She refused intervention at that time but suffered no untoward consequences. She reported having had later a healthy intrauterine pregnancy, delivered vaginally at term. No attempt was made to remove the prior missed abdominal pregnancy. The acute pain episode resolved, and there was no surgical intervention.

Conclusion: Abdominal pregnancies can have a complex course, and management decisions can be difficult. This case presents an unusual outcome of an advanced abdominal pregnancy and illustrates a unique approach to management.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Abdomen, Acute* / diagnostic imaging
  • Aged
  • Calcinosis / diagnosis*
  • Calcinosis / diagnostic imaging
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Fetal Death / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy, Abdominal / diagnosis*
  • Pregnancy, Abdominal / diagnostic imaging
  • Radiography
  • Time Factors