Should apparently uncomplicated monochorionic twins be delivered electively at 32 weeks?

Obstetrics Department, Coimbra University Hospitals, Coimbra, Portugal.
The journal of maternal-fetal & neonatal medicine: the official journal of the European Association of Perinatal Medicine, the Federation of Asia and Oceania Perinatal Societies, the International Society of Perinatal Obstetricians (Impact Factor: 1.37). 11/2009; 22(11):1077-80. DOI: 10.3109/14767050903042579
Source: PubMed


We aimed to estimate the optimal time of delivery and investigated the residual risk of fetal death after viability in otherwise uncomplicated monochorionic diamniotic twin pregnancies.
A database of 576 completed multiple pregnancies that were managed in our tertiary referral fetal medicine department between 1996 and 2007 was reviewed and the uncomplicated 111 monochorionic and the 290 dichorionic diamniotic twin pregnancies delivered after 24 weeks were selected. The rate of fetal death was derived for two-week periods starting at 24 weeks' gestation and the prospective risk of fetal death was calculated by determining the number of intrauterine fetal deaths that occurred within the two-week block divided by the number of continuing uncomplicated monochorionic twin pregnancies during that same time period.
The unexpected single intrauterine deaths rate was 2.7% versus 2.8% in previously uncomplicated monochorionic and dichorionic diamniotic pregnancies, respectively. The prospective risk of unexpected stillbirth after 32 weeks of gestation was 1.3% for monochorionic and 0.8% for dichorionic pregnancies.
In otherwise apparently uncomplicated monochorionic diamniotic pregnancies this prospective risk of fetal death after 32 weeks of gestation is lower than reported and similar to that of dichorionic pregnancies, so does not sustain the theory of elective preterm delivery.

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    ABSTRACT: To study perinatal mortality rates in a cohort of 465 monochorionic (MC) twins without twin-twin transfusion syndrome (TTS) born at 32 weeks of gestation or later since reported interauterine fetal death (IUFD) rates >32 weeks of gestations in the literature vary, leading to varying recommendations on the optimal timing of delivery, and to investigate the relation between perinatal mortality and mode of delivery. Multicentre retrospective cohort study. Ten perinatal referral centres in the Netherlands. All MC twin pregnancies without TTTS delivered at ≥ 32 weeks of gestation between January 2000 and December 2005. The medical records of all MC twin pregnancies without TTTS delivered at the ten perinatal referral centres in the Netherlands between January 2000 and December 2005 were reviewed. Perinatal mortality in relation to gestational age and mode of delivery at ≥ 32 weeks of gestation. After 32 weeks of gestation, five out of 930 fetuses died in utero and there were six neonatal deaths (6 per 1000 infants). In women who delivered ≥ 37 weeks, perinatal mortality was 7 per 1000 infants. Trial of labour was attempted in 376 women and was successful in 77%. There were three deaths in deliveries with a trial of labour (8 per 1000 deliveries), of which two were related to mode of delivery. Infants born by caesarean section without labour had an increased risk of neonatal morbidity and respiratory distress syndrome. In MC twin pregnancies the incidence of intrauterine fetal death is low ≥ 32 weeks of gestation. Therefore, planned preterm delivery before 36 weeks does not seem to be justified. The risk of intrapartum death is also low, at least in tertiary centres.
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