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Intrauterine Idiopathic Amputation of the Head of a Porcine Foetus


Author's address (for correspondence): JS Agerholm, Department of Large Animal Sciences, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Dyrlaegevej 68, DK-1870 Frederiksberg C, Denmark. E-mail:


An anencephalic full-term porcine foetus accompanied by a mummified head was submitted for examination. The neck almost entirely lacked skin and was covered by granulation tissue as were the exposed parts of the spine and spinal cord. The case represents a rare case of intrauterine amputation. A definitive cause could not be established because the placenta was not available. The most likely cause is strangulation of the neck. Such strangulation could be due to a defect of the allantoamnion with herniation of the foetal head or entanglement by amniotic constriction bands.