Discordant twins: diagnosis, evaluation and management

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2012 Jan;206(1):10-20. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2011.06.075. Epub 2011 Jun 25.


Approximately 16% of twin gestations have discordance of at least 20%. We identified 14 risk factors for divergent growth that can be categorized as maternal, fetal, or placental. Determination of chorionicity and serial ultrasound evaluation with a high index of suspicion for divergent growth is required for the diagnosis and stratification of risk. The highest reported likelihood ratio for detection of discordance was 5.9 during the first trimester examination and 6.0 for the second trimester. Although our ability to identify discordant twins is limited, once suspected and at viable gestational age, these pregnancies should have antepartum testing. Discordant growth alone is not an indication for preterm birth. Although there are multiple publications on the increased morbidity and mortality rates with discordant growth, there is a paucity of reports on how to manage them optimally and deliver them in a timely manner.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Birth Weight
  • Chorion / diagnostic imaging
  • Diseases in Twins / diagnosis*
  • Diseases in Twins / diagnostic imaging*
  • Diseases in Twins / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Fetal Mortality
  • Growth Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Growth Disorders / diagnostic imaging*
  • Growth Disorders / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Trimester, First
  • Pregnancy Trimester, Second
  • Pregnancy Trimester, Third
  • Risk Factors
  • Twins / statistics & numerical data*
  • Ultrasonography, Prenatal