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Obstet Gynecol. 1998 Jun;91(6):917-24.

Standards of birth weight in twin gestations stratified by placental chorionicity.

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The Center for Perinatal Health Initiatives, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, New Brunswick 08901-1977, USA.



To establish fetal growth nomograms for twin gestations, categorized by placental chorionicity, and to compare them with those of published singleton and twin nomograms.


Computerized data files of live births of all twins delivered between January 1990 and October 1996 at Saint Peter's Medical Center were used. Birth weight curves corresponding to the fifth, tenth, 50th, 90th, and 95th percentiles were derived separately for twins with monochorionic and dichorionic placentation. We generated the curves by applying the method of generalized estimating equations, after adjusting for the potential intracluster correlation due to twinning. The curves were then smoothed on the basis of nonparametric restricted cubic splines to derive (smoothed) birth weight percentiles. We then compared our twin birth weight nomogram to six previously published singleton and two twin nomograms published previously for predicting small for gestational age infants (defined as birth weight below the tenth percentile).


Among 1302 twin fetuses, 272 (21%) were monochorionic. Twins from monochorionic gestations weighed, on average, 66.1 g (standard deviation 28.4 g, P = .02) less than twins from dichorionic gestations after correcting for gestational age. Twin curves based on parity (nulliparity versus multiparity) were not different from each other. Analyses indicate that all previously published singleton nomograms approximate twin growth reasonably well between 32 and 34 weeks, but they underestimate twin growth at earlier gestational ages (between 25 and 32 weeks) and overestimate twin growth beyond 34 weeks' gestation. Similarly, a comparison of previously published twin nomograms with those of ours indicates that the growth standards in our population were similar to those in other published twin nomograms.


We recommend that future epidemiologic and clinical studies use twin nomograms to identify growth-restricted twin fetuses. Moreover, because fetal growth is influenced by placental chorionicity, we recommend that fetal growth assessment in twin gestations consider placental chorionicity, whenever the information is available.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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