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Twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome results from dynamic asymmetrical reduction in placental anastomoses: a hypothesis.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Placenta
0143-4004
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
22
Issue
5
Pages
383–391
Identifiers
PMID: 11373147
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Although placental vascular anastomoses between the fetoplacental circulations are ubiquitous in monochorionic twin pregnancies, the factors regulating their formation and maintenance are not understood. Increasing evidence implicates asymmetric anastomotic patterns in the aetiology of severe twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS). The authors propose that anastomoses between placental circulations in monochorionic twins occur in a random manner at the embryological stage of connection of embryonic and extra-embryonic circulations. Placental expansion is then associated with random disruption of anastomoses and regression of their associated villus districts. TTTS develops as discordant loss of anastomoses results in asymmetrical flow resistance. Pregnancies with fetal growth concordance but discordant nuchal translucency at 10-14 weeks are at increased risk of developing subsequent severe TTTS because these clinical features indicate significant pressure differentials in the presence of a placentoplacental circulation, consistent with the presence of numerous, asymmetric anastomoses. However, since the anastomotic pattern is dynamic in the first half of pregnancy this hypothesis predicts that it will not be possible to devise a clinical test at 12 weeks that will predict with certainty the outcome of monochorionic twin pregnancies in relation to TTTS because this depends on random subsequent events.

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