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J Clin Med. 2019 Jul 4;8(7). pii: E977. doi: 10.3390/jcm8070977.

Dispelling Myths about Antenatal TAPS: A Call for Action for Routine MCA-PSV Doppler Screening in the United States.

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Department of Social Sciences, D'Youville College, 591 Niagara Street, Buffalo, NY 14201, USA.
Department of Community and Family Medicine, Northeast Ohio Medical University, 4209 State Route 44, PO Box 95, Rootstown, Ohio 44272, USA.
Twin Anaemia Polycythemia Sequence (TAPS) Support Group, TAPS Patient Advocate, 1326HS Almere, The Netherlands.


In the United States, routine middle cerebral artery peak systolic velocity (MCA-PSV) Doppler screening for the detection of antenatal twin anemia-polycythemia sequence (TAPS) is not recommended. The current and only national clinical guideline from the highly-influential Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine states that, "There is no evidence that monitoring for TAPS with MCA PSV Doppler at any time, including > 26 weeks, improves outcomes, so that this additional screening cannot be recommended at this time." We argue this recommendation has disproportionate influence on patients and the care they are offered and receive. We use current evidence to highlight and dispel pervasive myths surrounding antenatal TAPS and the value of routine MCA-PSV screening. An ethical framework that illustrates the importance of giving patients the opportunity for routine screening is presented. Findings demonstrate that: (1) both spontaneous and post-laser TAPS is a serious, potentially life-threatening complication, (2) treatment for TAPS is effective and includes expectant management, intrauterine transfusion (IUT), or surgery, (3) and routine MCA-PSV, which has satisfactory diagnostic accuracy, is currently the only way to provide early detection of TAPS. We conclude that routine TAPS screening is a medically proven valuable resource that should be offered to patients in need and to the clinicians who are trying to act toward their benefit.


MCA-PSV Doppler; TAPS; clinical guidelines; monochorionic diamniotic twin pregnancy; screening; twin anemia-polycythemia sequence

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