Image of the month : Parasitic Twin , a  rare ultrasound diagnosis
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Image of the month : Parasitic Twin , a rare ultrasound diagnosis

Contributed by : 

Dr Farooq Ahmad Wani 

Senior Consultant Radiologist

Director North End Hospital Srinagar -Baramulla National Highway,

Palhalan , Kashmir 

Clinical scenario ;

A pregnant Female with Gestational Age 15 weeks and 5 days presented to clinic for gestational ultrasound 

On Level II USG scan, A twin pregnancy was noted   

One of the Twins was seen alive with  normal organogenesis however the second was found to be malnourished. The second twin was  devoid of a head and trunk as shown in the figures below 

The developed, functional twin is medically known as the autositic or dominant twin, while the underdeveloped one is simply referred to as the parasitic twin. 


What Is a Parasitic Twin?

A parasitic twin is a rare condition where a baby is born with an underdeveloped twin attached to its body. This is also known as “vestigial twins,”

The main difference is that conjoined twins present two developed babies, while parasitic twins require one of them to be severely underdeveloped and nonfunctional. 

An aberrant Blood supply of Maternal origin  keeps  the rest of the parts well nourished and growing at appropriate for gestational age rate.

The dominant twin is usually healthy in most aspects but may have extra tissue, organs, or limbs from the parasitic conjoined twin.

The parasitic twin may be attached to the dominant one in one of several places.

They commonly join at the head, torso, abdomen, chest, pelvis, buttocks, or back.

It’s important to remember that the parasitic twin isn’t alive — they almost always die during birth or even while in the womb.


1.Ultrasonography in  twin pregnancies

2. Parasitic twin syndrome 


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