Objective: Absent end-diastolic velocity (AEDV) in the umbilical artery of the donor twin is a known risk factor for intrauterine fetal demise (IUFD) of this fetus after selective laser photocoagulation of communicating vessels (SLPCV) for twin-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS). The aim of this study was to assess the proportion of time, expressed as a percentage, of the cardiac cycle spent in AEDV (%AEDV) as a predictor of IUFD of the donor.
Methods: All patients referred for possible SLPCV underwent complete preoperative staging evaluation including Doppler assessment of the umbilical artery. %AEDV was calculated retrospectively as 100 x (time of the cycle spent in AEDV divided by duration of total cardiac cycle). Patients without AEDV were considered to have a %AEDV of 0. Follow-up Doppler studies were performed 16-24 h after SLPCV. IUFD of the donor was recorded if the donor twin died any time prior to delivery.
Results: Of 401 patients undergoing SLPCV, 127 had AEDV. Preoperative AEDV of the donor twin was associated with an increased risk of IUFD of the donor (40.9% vs. 14.2%, P < 0.0001). %AEDV was measured in 72/127 (56.7%) donors with AEDV for whom digital images were available. Within these 72 patients, the mean %AEDV was significantly higher in patients with IUFD of the donor (36.5% vs. 29.6%, P = 0.01). IUFD of the donor was similar in patients with AEDV, regardless of whether %AEDV was measured (36% vs. 47%, P = 0.2). A %AEDV > 30 was associated with a 4.3-fold increase in the risk of IUFD of the donor (95% CI, 1.4-12.7), a sensitivity of 77% and a negative predictive value of 81.3%. Logistic regression showed that %AEDV, but not number of anastomoses, placental location, presence of artery-to-artery anastomoses or the presence or absence of EDV was associated significantly with IUFD of the donor.
Conclusion: %AEDV is a novel Doppler parameter in the assessment of patients with TTTS. %AEDV, rather than AEDV alone, is a significant risk factor for IUFD of the donor twin and %AEDV > 30 is associated with an increased risk of IUFD of the donor in TTTS patients treated with SLPCV. Assessment of %AEDV should be considered part of the preoperative evaluation of TTTS patients.