Neurodevelopmental outcome of monochorionic twins with selective intrauterine growth restriction (SIUGR) type II: laser versus expectant management

J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2021 May;34(10):1513-1521. doi: 10.1080/14767058.2019.1638902. Epub 2019 Jul 16.


Objective: To compare the neurodevelopmental outcome of monochorionic-diamniotic twins (MCDA) with type II selective intrauterine growth restriction (SIUGR-II) managed in utero either expectantly or with laser.

Materials and methods: Postnatal neurodevelopmental assessment was conducted on the children of patients that had been antenatally diagnosed with SIUGR-II between 16 and 26 weeks gestational age (GA) and that had been randomly assigned to expectant management (EM) versus laser therapy (LT). The assessment was conducted by trained specialists using the Battelle Developmental Inventory (BDI-2). BDI-2 total and domain (adaptive, personal-social, communication, motor, and cognitive) composite scores for the appropriately grown (AGA) and growth-restricted (IUGR) twins were compared by treatment arm.

Results: Twenty patients diagnosed with SIUGR had undergone block randomization between two centers to either expectant management (EM) (6) or laser therapy (LT) (14). The mean (SD) GA at diagnosis was no different between the EM and LT groups [21.5 (2.0) versus 21.1 (2.8) weeks, p = .7414, respectively]. However, GA at delivery was significantly lower in the EM versus LT groups [28.3 (1.8) versus 33.4 (3.8) weeks, p = .0039]. At 6 months, all 20 AGA babies were alive, whereas only 3/6 (50%) of the IUGR babies in the EM group and 4/14 (29%) in the LT group were alive (p = .6126). One family in the EM group and two families in the LT group declined BDI-2 assessment. The mean (SD) age at BDI-2 assessment was no different between the EM and LT groups [75.6 (14.4) versus 70.7 (18.2) months, p = .5618, respectively]. For the AGA children, there were no significant differences in total BDI-2 scores for the EM versus LT [97.4 (10.4) versus 98.0 (19.6), p = .8741], nor in any of the domain composite scores. For the IUGR children, no statistically significant differences were detected in total BDI-2 scores between the EM and LT [72.0 (31.1) versus 92.8 (22.1), p = .643], nor in any of the domain composite scores. The comparison of standardized scores between the AGA and IUGR pairs was significantly different, but within the normal range.

Conclusions: Neurodevelopmental outcomes for SIUGR-II MCDA twins were similarly favorable, whether managed expectantly or with laser treated. However, the significantly different GA at delivery (28.3 versus 33.4 weeks, p = .0039, expectant versus laser, respectively) may suggest improved outcomes in laser-treated patients in a larger cohort.

Keywords: Battelle developmental inventory-2; laser therapy; monochorionic twins; selective intrauterine growth restriction.