Original Investigations

European Journal of Pediatrics

, Volume 134, Issue 3, pp 195-200

First online:

The Acardiac Monster

  • R. LachmanAffiliated withHarbor-UCLA Medical Center
  • , M. McNabbAffiliated withHarbor-UCLA Medical Center
  • , M. FurmanskiAffiliated withHarbor-UCLA Medical Center
  • , L. KarpAffiliated withHarbor-UCLA Medical Center

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Two cases of acardiac fetuses are presented. Pathological data in 61 cases are tabulated. Classification, terminology and patho-physiological findings are discussed.

The Acardiac Monster is a form of monozygotic multiple gestation lacking a physiological heart and resulting in a bizarre fetal malformation which is sustained in utero by parasitic anastomoses to the circulation of a normal twin fetus. The precise etiology of this phenomenon is still obscure and suggestions are made for the future evaluation of the acardiac fetus.

Key words

Fetus Monozygotic Twinning Chromosome