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Obstet Gynecol. 2011 Oct;118(4):928-40. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0b013e31822f129d.

Co-twin prognosis after single fetal death: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

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1
School of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To perform a systematic review and meta-analysis of the effects on the surviving twin of single fetal death comparing monochorionic to dichorionic twins to report the rates of co-twin death, preterm delivery, and neurologic morbidity in the surviving fetus.

DATA SOURCES:

MEDLINE (inception-December 2010), EMBASE (inception-December 2010), The Cochrane library (inception-December 2010), Web of Science (inception-December 2010), and British Nursing Index (inception-December 2010) were searched electronically.

METHODS OF STUDY SELECTION:

Selected studies had more than five cases of single fetal death with reports of co-twin death, neurologic morbidity, or both co-twin death and neurologic morbidity. They also must have defined the gestational age of single fetal death and chorionicity.

TABULATION, INTEGRATION, AND RESULTS:

The search yielded 1,386 citations. Full manuscripts were retrieved for 204 and 22 were included in the review and meta-analysis. Twenty manuscripts were used to calculate overall summary statistics for monochorionic and dichorionic twins showing rates of co-twin death after single fetal death (15% compared with 3%), rates of preterm delivery after single fetal death (68% compared with 54%), the rate of abnormal postnatal cranial imaging after single fetal death (34% compared with 16%), and the rate of neurodevelopmental impairment after single fetal death (26% compared with 2%). Odds ratios (ORs) were calculated from 16 manuscripts. There was no significant difference reported between preterm delivery of monochorionic or dichorionic twins (OR 1.1, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.34-3.51, P=.9). After single fetal death, monochorionic twins had higher odds of an abnormal cranial imaging after delivery, this was not significant (OR 3.25, 95% CI 0.66-16.1, P=.12). After single fetal death, monochorionic twins were 4.81-times more likely to have neurodevelopmental morbidity (95% CI 1.39-16.6, P<.05).

CONCLUSION:

Monochorionic twins are at significantly increased odds of co-twin demise and neurodevelopmental morbidity after single fetal death.

PMID:
21934458
DOI:
10.1097/AOG.0b013e31822f129d
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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