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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2003 Nov;189(5):1314-9.

Long-term neurodevelopmental outcome in twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome.

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Department of Neonatology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands.



The purpose of this study was to determine the long-term neurodevelopmental outcome in children after twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome.


Maternal and neonatal medical records of all twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome patients who were admitted to our center between 1990 and 1998 were reviewed. Neurologic and mental development at school age was assessed during a home visit in all twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome survivors.


A total of 33 pregnancies with twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome were identified. Four couples opted for termination of pregnancy. All other pregnancies were treated conservatively, 18 pregnancies (62%) with serial amnioreductions and 11 pregnancies (38%) without intrauterine interventions. Mean gestational age at delivery was 28.6 weeks (range, 20-37 weeks). The perinatal mortality rate was 50% (29/58 infants). The birth weight of the donor twins was less than the recipient twins (P<.001). Systolic blood pressure at birth was lower in donors than in recipients (P=.023), and donors required inotropic support postnatally more frequently than did recipients (P=.008). The incidence of hypertension at birth was higher in recipients than in donors (P=.038). Abnormal cranial ultrasonographic findings were reported in 41% of the neonates (12/29 neonates). All long-term survivors (n=29 neonates) were assessed during a home visit. Mean gestational age at birth of the surviving twin was 31.6 weeks (range, 25-37 weeks). The mean age at follow-up was 6.2 years (range, 4-11 years). The incidence of cerebral palsy was 21% (6/29 infants). Five of 6 children with cerebral palsy had an abnormal mental development. The incidence of cerebral palsy in the group of survivors who were treated with serial amnioreduction was 26% (5/19 infants). Four children were born after the intrauterine fetal demise of their co-twin, 2 of which had cerebral palsy.


The incidence of adverse neurodevelopmental outcome in twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome survivors is high, especially after the intrauterine fetal demise of a co-twin.

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