Donor catch-up growth after laser surgery for twin-twin transfusion syndrome

Early Hum Dev. 2015 Dec;91(12):751-4. doi: 10.1016/j.earlhumdev.2015.08.006. Epub 2015 Sep 10.


Objective: To assess fetal growth after laser surgery for TTTS at the time of prenatal diagnosis, birth, and at 2years of age.

Design/methods: Growth data were collected from surviving children treated between 2007 and 2010 as part of a study to assess neurodevelopment at 24months (±6weeks) corrected age. Fetal weights were obtained via ultrasound using Hadlock's formula at the time of preoperative assessment for laser surgery. Birth weights were recorded by the staff at the delivering institutions. Weights at 2years corrected age were recorded at the time of neurodevelopmental testing. Weights were converted into percentiles according to standard growth curves. Growth restriction was defined as <10th percentile for given age. Multilevel latent growth curve models in Mplus (twins nested in families) examined weight change over time as a function of donor status, and repeated measures ANOVA was utilized to assess in donor-recipient weight discordance over time for twin pairs.

Results: 99 of 206 children (56 of 130 families) were studied. There were no differences between enrolled and non-enrolled patients in donor/recipient status and survival rates, fetal demise, intrauterine growth restriction, Quintero stage, and gestational age of surgery or delivery. 48.5% were donors. The median fetal, birth, and 2-year weights for all twins were 288g, 1.9kg, and 11.8kg, respectively, and the overall prevalence of growth restriction was 28%, 22%, and 3%, respectively. Growth restriction rates at prenatal diagnosis were 56% in donors vs. 2% in recipients (OR=64.3, p<0.001); at birth, 35% vs. 10% (OR=5.0, p<0.01); and at 2years, 6% vs. 0%. Donors showed significant gains in weight percentile (B=13.1, p<0.001) and a significant decrease in growth restriction rates over time (B=-1.6, p<0.001). Weight discordance between donor and recipient pairs also significantly decreased over time (linear F(1,42)=54.34, p<0.001).

Conclusions: After laser surgery for TTTS, donor twins exhibit significant catch-up growth by two years of age.

Keywords: Catch-up growth; Growth restriction; Laser surgery; Twin–twin transfusion syndrome.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Birth Weight / physiology*
  • Child Development / physiology*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Fetal Development / physiology*
  • Fetal Weight / physiology*
  • Fetofetal Transfusion / physiopathology
  • Fetofetal Transfusion / surgery*
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Laser Therapy*
  • Male
  • Pregnancy