Selective Reduction Using Intravascular Potassium Chloride Injection after Laser Surgery for Twin-Twin Transfusion Syndrome

Fetal Diagn Ther. 2016;39(4):306-10. doi: 10.1159/000431255. Epub 2015 Jun 9.


Selective reduction (SR) via intravascular potassium chloride (KCl) injection is contraindicated in monochorionic twins due to the presence of placental vascular communications, which may serve as a conduit for inter-twin passage of KCl or allow exsanguination of the living twin into the demised twin. After successful selective laser photocoagulation of communicating vessels (SLPCV) for twin-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS), the twins' circulatory systems are rendered independent. Theoretically, intravascular KCl injection into one twin after successful SLPCV should not result in passage of the feticidal agent nor cause hemodynamic alterations in the co-twin. We describe 3 cases of 1,069 patients (0.3%) that underwent SLPCV for TTTS between 2003 and 2013 and subsequent SR. SLPCV was successfully completed at 180, 226, and 230 weeks' gestational age for Quintero stages III, IV, and III TTTS, respectively. SR via intravascular KCl injection was later performed at maternal request due to the risk of neurological compromise in one twin at 226, 254, and 236 weeks' gestational age. All co-twins survived after SR, and no neurological sequelae were suspected after birth. Further study is necessary before SR can be routinely considered after laser surgery for TTTS.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Fetofetal Transfusion / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Light Coagulation
  • Potassium Chloride / administration & dosage
  • Potassium Chloride / therapeutic use*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Reduction, Multifetal / methods*


  • Potassium Chloride