A group of Italian researchers explores Doppler changes in babies diagnosed with Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS). The study was published in Prenatal Diagnosis. Prenatal Diagnosis is the Official Journal of the International Society for Prenatal Diagnosis. They looked at Doppler changes in TTTS donor and recipient babies before and one week after laser surgery for TTTS. A Doppler ultrasound is a noninvasive test that can be used to estimate blood flow through blood vessels in the placenta and umbilical cords.
More than 70 percent experienced normalization
129 donor babies survived one week after the surgery. That was 85.4 percent of the donor babies included in the study. Not all twins had abnormal Doppler findings before they had laser surgery. Abnormal Doppler findings were diagnosed in 36 cases. 26 out of those 36 cases with abnormal Dopplers before surgery experienced normalization of the umbilical artery flow. This means that 72.2 percent of those with abnormal Dopplers before surgery experienced normalization. In the remaining 10 cases, abnormal findings persisted.
Survival rate higher for those with normalized findings
The survival rate in the group of 10 cases, that continued to have abnormal findings after surgery, was significantly lower. 6 out of 10 donor babies died, which is 60 percent. In the group with normalized findings one week after surgery, 4 out of 26 babies died. That’s 15.4 percent. The researchers found that fetal growth restriction wasn’t significantly different in donors with abnormal Doppler findings compared to those with normalized findings.