Objective: Monochorionic diamniotic twin pregnancies complicated by Type-III selective fetal growth restriction (sFGR) are at high risk of fetal death. The aim of this study was to identify predictors of fetal death in these pregnancies.
Methods: This was an international multicenter retrospective cohort study. Type-III sFGR was defined as fetal estimated fetal weight (EFW) of one twin below the 10th percentile and intertwin EFW discordance of ≥ 25% in combination with intermittent absent or reversed end-diastolic flow in the umbilical artery of the smaller fetus. Predictors of fetal death were recorded longitudinally throughout gestation and assessed in univariable and multivariable logistic regression models. The classification and regression trees (CART) method was used to construct a prediction model of fetal death using significant predictors derived from the univariable analysis.
Results: A total of 308 twin pregnancies (616 fetuses) were included in the analysis. In 273 (88.6%) pregnancies, both twins were liveborn, whereas 35 pregnancies had single (n = 19 (6.2%)) or double (n = 16 (5.2%)) fetal death. On univariable analysis, earlier gestational age at diagnosis of Type-III sFGR, oligohydramnios in the smaller twin and deterioration in umbilical artery Doppler flow were associated with an increased risk of fetal death, as was larger fetal EFW discordance, particularly between 24 and 32 weeks' gestation. None of the parameters identified on univariable analysis maintained statistical significance on multivariable analysis. The CART model allowed us to identify three risk groups: a low-risk group (6.8% risk of fetal death), in which umbilical artery Doppler did not deteriorate; an intermediate-risk group (16.3% risk of fetal death), in which umbilical artery Doppler deteriorated but the diagnosis of sFGR was made at or after 16 + 5 weeks' gestation; and a high-risk group (58.3% risk of fetal death), in which umbilical artery Doppler deteriorated and gestational age at diagnosis was < 16 + 5 weeks' gestation.
Conclusions: Type-III sFGR is associated with a high risk of fetal death. A prediction algorithm can help to identify the highest-risk group, which is characterized by Doppler deterioration and early referral. Further studies should investigate the potential benefit of fetal surveillance and intervention in this cohort.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright: © 2022 International Society of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology.
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