Management of the smaller twin with impending compromise in twin pregnancies complicated by selective fetal growth restriction: a questionnaire-based study of clinical practice patterns

So hee Kim, Young Mi Jung, Chan Wook Park, Joong Shin Park, Jong Kwan Jun, Mi Hye Park, Han Sung Hwang, Seung Mi Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: In twin pregnancies complicated by selective fetal growth restriction (sFGR), if the smaller twin is in the state of impending intra-uterine death (IUD), immediate delivery will reduce the risk of IUD of the smaller twin while exposing the larger twin to iatrogenic preterm birth (PTB). Therefore, the management options would either be to maintain pregnancy for the maturation of the larger twin despite the risk of IUD of the smaller twin or immediate delivery to prevent IUD of the smaller twin. However, the optimal gestational age of management transition from maintaining pregnancy to immediate delivery has not been established. The objective of this study was to evaluate the physician’s perspective on the optimal timing of immediate delivery in twin pregnancies complicated by sFGR. Methods: An online cross-sectional survey was performed with obstetricians and gynecologists (OBGYN) in South Korea. The questionnaire asked the following: (1) whether participants would maintain or immediately deliver a twin pregnancy complicated by sFGR with signs of impending IUD of the smaller twin; (2) the optimal gestational age of management transition from maintaining pregnancy to immediate delivery in a twin pregnancy with impending IUD of the smaller twin; and (3) the limit of viability and intact survival in general preterm neonates. Results: A total of 156 OBGYN answered the questionnaires. In a clinical scenario of dichorionic (DC) twin pregnancy complicated by sFGR with signs of impending IUD of the smaller twin, 57.1% of the participants answered that they would immediately deliver the twin pregnancy. However, 90.4% answered that they would immediately deliver the pregnancy in the same scenario for monochorionic (MC) twin pregnancy. The participants designated 30 weeks for DC twin and 28 weeks for MC twin pregnancies as the optimal gestational age of management transition from maintaining pregnancy to immediate delivery. The participants regarded 24 weeks as the limit of viability and 30 weeks as the limit of intact survival in general preterm neonates. The optimal gestational age of management transition for DC twin pregnancy was correlated with the limit of intact survival in general preterm neonates (p < 0.001), but not with the limit of viability. However, the optimal gestational age of management transition for MC twin pregnancy was associated with both the limit of intact survival (p = 0.012) and viability with marginal significance (p = 0.062). Conclusions: Participants preferred to immediately deliver twin pregnancies complicated by sFGR with impending IUD of the smaller twin at the limit of intact survival (30 weeks) for DC twin pregnancies and at the midway between the limit of intact survival and viability (28 weeks) for MC twin pregnancies. More research is needed to establish guidelines regarding the optimal delivery timing for twin pregnancies complicated by sFGR.

Original languageEnglish
Article number344
JournalBMC Pregnancy and Childbirth
Volume23
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank the Korean Society of Ultrasound in Obstetric Gynecology Research Group (KSUOG) for supporting this study.

Funding Information:
This research was supported by SNUH Research Fund (1120215040 and 0420222020).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s).

Keywords

  • Intact survival
  • Multifetal pregnancy
  • Selective fetal growth restriction
  • Timing of delivery
  • Viability

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