Aims: To evaluate cardiac findings in newborn twins from the general population and investigate if newborn twins may require systematic evaluation of cardiac parameters.
Methods: Prospective cohort study of newborns with cardiac evaluation performed during the first month of life. Cardiac findings were compared 1:3 with matched singletons.
Results: We included 412 newborn twins (16% monochorionic; 50% boys) and 1236 singletons. Comparing cardiac findings showed twins had an increased prevalence of non-severe structural heart disease (most common: ventricular septal defects in both groups), thinner left ventricular posterior wall in diastole (LVPWd; 1.82 vs. 1.87 mm, p = 0.02), smaller diameter of the left atrium (10.6 vs. 11.1 mm, p = 0.04), higher heart rate (148 vs. 144 bpm, p = 0.04), more left-shifted QRS axis (106 vs. 111°, p < 0.001), and lower maximum R-wave amplitude in V1 (927 vs. 1015 μV, p = 0.02) compared to singletons. After multifactorial adjustment for potential confounders, the effect of twinning on cardiac parameters persisted only for LVPWd (p < 0.05).
Conclusion: Despite contemporary surveillance, we found an increased prevalence of non-severe structural heart disease in a population-based cohort of newborn twins. However, the effect of twinning on cardiac parameters was modest and generally did not persist after correction for likely confounding factors.
Keywords: ECG; congenital heart disease; echocardiography; multiple pregnancy.
© 2022 The Authors. Acta Paediatrica published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Foundation Acta Paediatrica.