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Encyclopedia > Sacrococcygeal teratoma

Sacrococcygeal teratoma (SCT), a birth defect, is a tumor located at the base of the tailbone (coccyx). It is seen in 1 in every 35,000 live births, and is the most common tumor in the newborn. These tumors can grow very large, however they are usually not malignant. Most instances of SCT are not dangerous for the fetus unless there is a large amount of blood flow through the tumor. This added blood flow can place a strain on the growing heart of the fetus and thus must be monitored by fetal echocardiography. The teratoma is derived from persisting remnants of the primitive streak and therefore contain multiple tissue types due to presence of pluripotent stem cells. A congenital disorder is a medical condition or defect that is present at or before birth (for example, congenital heart disease). ... It has been suggested that Transesophageal_echocardiogram be merged into this article or section. ...


Sacrococcygeal teratoma is usually discovered prenatally through routine blood tests and sonograms. A high alpha feto-protein amount found during a 16 week blood test can revel a potential SCT. The final diagnosis is done through a ultrasound examination. Night writing was a system of code that used symbols of twelve dots (2 wide and 6 high) designed by Charles Barbier in response to Napoleons demand for a code that soldiers could use to communicate silently and without light at night. ...


Sacrococcygeal teratoma are usually removed by surgery after birth. Removal of small tumors is a straightforward surgical procedure; however larger tumors can be more difficult and dangerous to remove.

Tumors with a large blood flow can produce a strain on the heart; if the fetus begins to show evidence of heart failure, fetal surgery may be required to remove the SCT. Open fetal surgery is an invasive form of fetal intervention in the treatment of birth defects where the uterus is opened up for direct surgery on the fetus. ...

External links

  • Teratoma Support Foundation
  • UCSF Fetal Treatment Center: Sacrococcygeal Teratoma (SCT)



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