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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2012 Sep;207(3):220.e1-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2012.06.022. Epub 2012 Jul 25.

Placental pathology, birthweight discordance, and growth restriction in twin pregnancy: results of the ESPRiT Study.

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  • 1Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dublin, Ireland.



We sought to evaluate the association between placental histological abnormalities and birthweight discordance and growth restriction in twin pregnancies.


We performed a multicenter, prospective study of twin pregnancies. Placentas were examined for evidence of infarction, retroplacental hemorrhage, chorangioma, subchorial fibrin, or abnormal villus maturation. Association of placental lesions with chorionicity, birthweight discordance, and growth restriction were assessed.


In all, 668 twin pairs were studied, 21.1% monochorionic and 78.9% dichorionic. Histological abnormalities were more frequent in placentas of smaller twins of birthweight discordant pairs (P = .02) and in placentas of small for gestational age infants (P = .0001) when compared to controls. The association of placental abnormalities with both birthweight discordance and small for gestational age was significant for dichorionic twins (P = .01 and .0001, respectively). No such association was seen in monochorionic twins.


In a large, prospective, multicenter study, we observed a strong relationship between abnormalities of placental histology and birthweight discordance and growth restriction in dichorionic, but not monochorionic, twin pregnancies.

Copyright © 2012 Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

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