Selective Fetal Growth Restriction in Dichorionic Twin Pregnancies: Diagnosis, Natural History, and Perinatal Outcome

J Clin Med. 2020 May 9;9(5):1404. doi: 10.3390/jcm9051404.


This study aims to evaluate the natural history, disease progression, and outcomes in dichorionic twins with selective fetal growth restriction (sFGR) according to different diagnostic criteria and time of onset. Dichorionic twins seen from the first trimester were included. sFGR was classified according to the Delphi consensus, and was compared to the outcomes of those classified by the International Society of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology (ISUOG) diagnostic criteria. Early sFGR occurred before 32-weeks, and late sFGR after 32-weeks. Disease progression, neonatal outcomes such as gestation at delivery, birthweight, neonatal unit (NNU) admission, and morbidities were compared. One-hundred twenty-three of 1053 dichorionic twins had sFGR, where 8.4% were classified as early sFGR, and 3.3% were late sFGR. Disease progression was seen in 36%, with a longer progression time (5 vs. 1 week) and higher progression rate (40% vs. 26%) in early sFGR. Perinatal death was significantly higher in the sFGR than the non-sFGR group (24 vs. 16 per 1000 births, p = 0.018), and those with early sFGR had more NNU admissions than late sFGR (p = 0.005). The ISUOG diagnostic criteria yielded a higher number of sFGR than the Delphi criteria, but similar outcomes. sFGR have worse perinatal outcomes, with early onset being more prevalent. Use of the Delphi diagnostic criteria can reduce over-diagnosis of sFGR and avoid unnecessary intervention.

Keywords: DCDA twins; diagnostic criteria; morbidity and mortality; natural history; selective fetal growth restriction.