Incidence of small-for-gestational-age infant birthweight following early intertwin fetal growth discordance in dichorionic and monochorionic twin pregnancies.Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2022 05; 226(5):726.e1-726.e9.AJ
Serial growth scans are routinely recommended for twin pregnancies to identify fetal growth restriction (defined as an estimated fetal weight of <10th percentile), which can result in increased perinatal morbidity and mortality. However, the clinical significance of early intertwin growth discordance in the absence of fetal growth restriction remains unclear.
This study aimed to compare the rates of small-for-gestational-age infants among twin pregnancies with intertwin growth discordance in the absence of fetal growth restriction with that among twin pregnancies with concordant, normal growth identified by ultrasound between 24 0/7 and 31 6/7 weeks' gestation.
This was a retrospective cohort study of twin deliveries at a single hospital from 2010 to 2019. Pregnancies without fetal growth restriction were categorized as discordant or concordant using the earliest prenatal growth ultrasound between 24 0/7 and 31 6/7 weeks' gestation. Discordance was defined as an estimated fetal weight difference of ≥18% between twins. Pregnancies with major fetal anomalies, no growth ultrasound between 24 0/7 and 31 6/7 weeks' gestation, or twin-twin transfusion syndrome were excluded. The cohort was stratified by chorionicity. Our primary outcome was small-for-gestational-age defined as <10th percentile per the Fenton growth curve at delivery. Secondary outcomes included gestational age at delivery, mode of delivery, neonatal intensive care unit admission, length of stay, and neonatal complications and placental pathology.
Of the 707 twin pregnancies that met the inclusion criteria, 558 (79%) were dichorionic and 149 (21%) were monochorionic. Most pregnancies were concordant on ultrasound between 24 0/7 and 31 6/7 weeks' gestation (dichorionic, 93%; monochorionic, 87%). Regardless of chorionicity, twin pregnancies with discordance at ultrasound, were more likely to have a small-for-gestational-age infant than concordant twin pregnancies (dichorionic: 51% vs 29%; P=.002; monochorionic: 65% vs 24%; P<.001). Furthermore, women with twin pregnancies with discordance were delivered at an earlier gestational age (dichorionic: 36 weeks [interquartile range, 33-36] vs 34 weeks [interquartile range, 34-38]; P<.001; monochorionic: 34 weeks [interquartile range, 32-34] vs 36 weeks [interquartile range, 34-37]; P=.003). Pregnancies with growth discordance were more likely to be delivered by cesarean delivery (dichorionic: 90% vs 72%; P=.01; monochorionic: 65% vs 60%; P=.70), although this was only statistically significant for dichorionic twin pregnancies. Neonates of pregnancies with growth discordance had a higher incidence of respiratory distress syndrome (dichorionic: 54% vs 37%; P=.04; monochorionic: 70% vs 45%; P=.04) and neonatal intensive care unit admission (dichorionic: 71% vs 50%; P=.01; monochorionic: 90% vs 65%; P=.03). Furthermore, dichorionic infants had longer neonatal intensive care unit stays (30 [interquartile range, 18-61] vs 18 [interquartile range, 10-35] days; P=.02).
Regardless of chorionicity, twin pregnancies with discordance without fetal growth restriction identified on growth ultrasound between 24 0/7 and 31 6/7 weeks' gestation were nearly twice as likely to develop small-for-gestational-age neonates, deliver earlier in gestation, and experience greater neonatal morbidity than twin pregnancies without discordance. Patients with pregnancies complicated by isolated intertwin discordance between 24 0/7 and 31 6/7 weeks' gestation will need counseling regarding adverse perinatal outcomes.