Neonatal cranial ultrasonographic findings in preterm twins complicated by severe fetofetal transfusion syndrome

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1998 Mar;178(3):479-83. doi: 10.1016/s0002-9378(98)70424-7.


Objective: To investigate cranial ultrasonographic findings in survivors of monochorionic pregnancies complicated by fetofetal transfusion syndrome.

Study design: Case details of all monochorionic twin pregnancies complicated by fetofetal transfusion syndrome were obtained from the Centre for Fetal Care database for a 3-year period. Fetofetal transfusion syndrome was diagnosed according to ultrasonographic criteria. Eligible for entry were twin pregnancies resulting in live-born preterm infants and complicated by fetofetal transfusion syndrome severe enough to require amnioreduction. Cranial ultrasonographic scans performed within 48 hours of birth were reviewed for evidence of abnormality.

Results: Seventeen pregnancies were eligible for inclusion in the study. Median gestational age was 25 weeks (between 17 and 29 weeks) at diagnosis and 30 weeks (between 25 and 35 weeks) at delivery. Three infants died before ultrasonography could be performed. The remaining 31 twin infants received an early cranial ultrasonographic scan. One of the 31 had a major cerebral infarct; 10 others had evidence of other, more minor, antenatally acquired lesions.

Conclusions: Both donor and recipient survivors from pregnancies complicated by fetofetal transfusion syndrome are at significant risk for antenatally acquired cerebral lesions. Long-term neurologic follow-up studies are indicated to determine the clinical significance of these lesions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Twin Study

MeSH terms

  • Brain / pathology*
  • Brain Diseases / pathology
  • Echoencephalography*
  • Female
  • Fetofetal Transfusion / complications*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature, Diseases / etiology
  • Infant, Premature, Diseases / pathology*
  • Pregnancy
  • Retrospective Studies