Background: An increased risk for intrauterine growth restriction in the affected member of like-sex twin pairs discordant for hypospadias has been reported. The purpose of this study was to document patterns of birth weight disparities in like-sex twins discordant for a variety of structural defects in order to determine if this is a general phenomenon seen in twins who are discordant for any malformation, is seen only in pairs discordant for certain specific malformations, or is unique to hypospadias.
Methods: Data were extracted from the Latin American Collaborative Study of Congenital Malformations (ECLAMC). Between 1967 and 1999, all like-sex twin pairs discordant for hypospadias or any other isolated defect that met the criteria of at least 5 discordant pairs for which birth weight was available on both twins were selected. All nonmalformed like-sex twin pairs in the ECLAMC data base collected over the same study years were selected as controls.
Results: A total of 216 discordant malformed like-sex twin pairs in 13 defect categories and 328 nonmalformed like-sex twin pairs met the criteria for inclusion. The proportion of affected infants who were > or =20% smaller than their co-twin was statistically significantly different from controls for hypospadias, heart defects, anencephaly, and esophageal atresia.
Conclusions: Intrauterine growth restriction seen in the affected member of like-sex twin pairs discordant for hypospadias is not unique, but occurs as well in at least 3 additional structural malformations.
Copyright 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.