Scanning Microscopy


A single 4.7 x 3.3 x 1.5 cm solid nodule was removed from the bladder of a 24 years old white female who had lost an intrauterine contraceptive device (IUD) installed approximately four years ago. The nodule showed no external evidence of an IUD or its string. An examination of the nodular surface by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) showed mostly amorphous material with some adherent filamentous structures. Its energy dispersive x-ray microanalysis revealed the presence of calcium and phosphorus suggesting that the nodule was actually a urolith. Fracturing the nodule exposed an embedded entity consistent with being a copper IUD. Apparently, the lost IUD had migrated from the uterus into the bladder where it became mineralized. Thus the solid nodule was actually a foreign body stone.

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