Decreased Total Placental Mass Found in Twin-Twin Transfusion Syndrome Gestations with Selective Growth Restriction

Fetal Diagn Ther. 2016;40(2):116-22. doi: 10.1159/000442153. Epub 2016 Jan 20.


Introduction: We examined placental weight characteristics associated with donor selective intrauterine growth restriction (SIUGR) among patients with twin-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS) who underwent laser surgery.

Materials and methods: Fresh placental specimens were studied. Pregnancies with higher-order multiples, fetal demise, or disrupted or nonsubmitted placental specimens were excluded. Placental characteristics prospectively collected included total placental weight, individual placental weight, and placental share. Data were compared between pregnancies with SIUGR (TTTS + SIUGR group) and those without SIUGR (TTTS-only group).

Results: Of 369 consecutive patients who underwent laser surgery for TTTS, 155 (42%) met inclusion criteria: 91 with TTTS + SIUGR and 64 with TTTS-only. Compared to the TTTS-only group, patients in the TTTS + SIUGR group had a lower total placental weight (608 ± 163 vs. 687 ± 224 g, p = 0.012), with a lower donor individual placental weight (237 ± 91 vs. 291 ± 124 g, p = 0.002), but no apparent difference in the individual placental weight of recipient twins (371 ± 109 vs. 396 ± 133 g, p = 0.211). Donor placental share was smaller in those pregnancies affected by SIUGR (38.7 ± 9.6 vs. 42.3 ± 9.8%, p = 0.029).

Discussion: TTTS patients with SIUGR had a lower total placental weight and a lower donor individual placental weight compared to those without SIUGR. These findings suggest that differences in donor individual placental weights for SIUGR gestations may not solely be related to differences in placental share.

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Fetal Growth Retardation / pathology*
  • Fetofetal Transfusion / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Laser Coagulation
  • Logistic Models
  • Odds Ratio
  • Organ Size
  • Placenta / pathology*
  • Pregnancy