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J Ultrasound Med. 2008 Mar;27(3):363-9.

Nuchal translucency thickness in monochorionic multiple pregnancies: value in predicting pregnancy outcome.

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Fetal Medicine Center, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Clinica Las Condes, Santiago, Chile.



The purpose of this study was to investigate the value of first-trimester nuchal translucency (NT) thickness in predicting the pregnancy outcome in monochorionic multiple pregnancies.


Thirty monochorionic multiple pregnancies were evaluated for NT thickness at a median gestational age of 12 weeks (range, 11-14 weeks). Information on pregnancy outcome was obtained from all cases. A poor pregnancy outcome was defined as fetal death or miscarriage before 24 weeks, development of twin-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS), or preterm delivery before 32 weeks.


The NT thickness was above the 95th percentile for gestational age in at least 1 fetus in 5 (17%) pregnancies, and a poor pregnancy outcome was recorded in 14 (47%) pregnancies. The overall sensitivity was 36% (5/14); specificity, 100% (16/16); positive predictive value, 100% (5/5); and negative predictive value, 64% (16/25). In pregnancies with increased compared with normal NT thickness, no significant correlation was found with the subsequent development of TTTS (1/5 [20%] versus 5/25 [20%]) and miscarriage or fetal death before 24 weeks (1/5 [20%] versus 3/25 [12%]). However, among the 20 pregnancies not complicated by TTTS or loss before 24 weeks, there was a significantly increased rate of delivery before 32 weeks in the former group (3/4 [75%] versus 1/16 [6.3%]; P = .01).


In monochorionic multiple pregnancies, an increased NT thickness measurement had a high specificity and positive predictive value for adverse perinatal outcomes. However, the sensitivity and negative predictive value were low, with a normal NT thickness measurement poorly predicting development of complications; therefore, close sonographic follow-up should be carried out in all cases, irrespective of NT thickness.

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