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Skull, Brain And Clumps Of Hair Found Inside Ovarian Tumor Of 16-Year-Old

8 January 2017, 11:36 am EST By Athena Chan Tech Times
An emergency operation led to the discovery of a strange tumor in the ovary of a 16-year-old. See what happens when a single egg cell tries to create another body on its own.  ( Mayasuki Shintaku et. al )

The human body is a very complex system of organs that work together for the survival of the human being. Sometimes, though, it can play strange little tricks on humans just to show what it is capable of.

Such is the case of a 16-year-old girl in Japan who underwent an emergency appendectomy for her acute appendicitis.

However, during the said operation, doctors noticed a large growth on her ovary, which turned out to be a strange formation: it looked to be part of a brain covered by thin skull bone and matted clumps of hair.

The surgery to remove what is called a "teratoma" on the girl's ovary took place three months after the appendectomy. Upon closer examination of the 10 cm cyst, the doctors discovered that the tiny piece of brain matter was actually an undeveloped cerebellum that was covered by a thin skull bone.

Also inside the growth was a lump of hair. Despite the odd findings, the girl did not report any distressing symptoms associated with the teratoma; she was able to recover quickly.

What Are Mature Ovarian Cystic Teratomas?

Mature ovarian cystic teratomas are benign growths in the ovaries. These growths occur when an immature egg in the ovary "rebels" and starts creating different body parts.

Since an egg in the ovaries is just one of the two components needed to begin creating a human life, the egg cell's solo activities tend to create incomplete body parts such as hair, teeth, muscle, and other malformed parts of the body. It is uncommon, however, to see formed body parts such as those seen in the case of the mini cerebellum found in the girl's cyst.

Another such case of more mature structures found in teratomas is yet another incident in Japan. The tumor found in a virgin 25-year-old woman had formed into a doll-like structure with a head, trunk, and extremities.

The doll-like growth had important bodily structures such as a brain, one ear, eyes with eyelashes, a jaw, intestines, bones, blood vessels, spinal bones, and spinal nerves, though its spine was deformed. This example is seen as one that shows the egg cell apparently attempting to create a child on its own.

Teratomas And Anti-NMDA-receptor Encephalitis

A possible syndrome resulting from teratomas is the Anti-N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)-receptor Encephalitis, which can cause psychiatric symptoms such as auditory hallucinations. The syndrome usually begins with symptoms such as nausea, fever, and headache, which will gradually lead to a spectrum of psychiatric symptoms. In many cases, the removal of the cyst and additional treatment give patients a high likelihood of a good recovery.

In the case of the 16-year-old girl from Japan, the doctors did not report seeing any symptoms of encephalitis associated with teratomas.

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