Author(s): Zhao DP, de Villiers SF, Slaghekke F, Walther FJ, Middeldorp JM,
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Abstract INTRODUCTION: Most monochorionic (MC) twin pregnancies have an uncomplicated course, but some develop severe complications including selective intrauterine growth restriction (sIUGR), twintwin transfusion syndrome (TTTS) and twin anemia-polycythemia sequence (TAPS). The underlying pathogenesis of these various complications is associated with the ubiquitous presence of vascular anastomoses in MC placentas. METHODS: The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence, number, size and localization of the anastomoses in sIUGR, TTTS and TAPS placentas compared to normal MC placentas using color dye injection. We excluded MC twin pregnancies treated with fetoscopic laser surgery or selective feticide. RESULTS: A total of 235 placentas fulfilled the inclusion criteria: 126 normal MC, 47 TTTS, 46 sIUGR and 16 spontaneous TAPS. Median number of anastomoses in normal MC, sIUGR, TTTS and TAPS placentas was 8 (IQR: 4-12), 8 (IQR: 5-14), 7 (IQR: 5-11) and 4 (IQR: 3-5), respectively. The prevalence of arterio-arterial (AA) anastomoses in normal MC, sIUGR, TTTS and TAPS placentas was 96\%, 98\%, 47\% and 19\%, respectively. We found AV anastomoses to be evenly distributed along the vascular equator in all MC placentas except in TAPS cases, where anastomoses were mostly localized near the margin. We also found that, in sIUGR and TTTS placentas, AA anastomoses tended to be at the center of the placenta. CONCLUSION: The present study shows that the prevalence, size, number and localization of the various types of anastomoses differ between normal MC, sIUGR, TTTS and TAPS placentas. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Placenta
and referenced in Journal of Neonatal Biology