Sirenomelia x-ray 2


Sirenomelia, or mermaid syndrome, is a rare congenital malformation characterised by the fusion of lower limb structures. The estimated incidence is 1 in 60,000 – 70,000 of pregnancies.

There may be greater predilection among males, somewhat paradoxically given the usage of the word mermaid, and the condition is often fatal, contrary to popular fairy tales.

The name derives from the Latin words ‘siren’, meaning a partly female creature in Greek legend whose beautiful singing lured sailors to their deaths, and ‘melia’, meaning limb.


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