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Semin Pediatr Surg. 2003 Aug;12(3):175-81.

The treatment of twin-twin transfusion syndrome.

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  • 1The Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.


The twin-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS) is the most common serious complication of monochorionic twin gestations, affecting between 4% and 35% of monochorionic twin pregnancies each year in the United States. The TTTS accounts for 17% of all perinatal mortality associated with twin gestations. Standard therapy in the United States has most commonly been serial amnioreduction, which appears to improve the overall outcome. Intertwin microseptostomy similarly improves outcome but has no survival advantage over serial amnioreduction. Survivors of TTTS treated by serial amnioreduction have an 18% to 26% incidence of sonographically detectable brain abnormalities. Selective fetoscopic laser photocoagulation of chorioangiopagus has emerged as an alternative treatment strategy in TTTS with at least comparable if not superior survival to serial amnioreduction. The superiority of fetoscopic laser treatment of TTTS remains unproven and is the subject of a National Institutes of Health (NIH)-sponsored prospective randomized clinical trial comparing aggressive serial amnioreduction with selective fetoscopic laser photocoagulation for severe TTTS.

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