Triplet reduction: High risk of losing two babies

New study explores the outcome of triplet pregnancies reduced to twins by laser.

By Kate Phillipa Clark

A recent study explores the outcome of triplet pregnancies reduced to twins by laser. The study was published online in Ultrasound in Obstetrics & Gynecology. That is the official journal of the International Society of Ultrasound in Obstetrics & Gynecology. The triplet pregnancies were reduced to dichorionic twins by laser ablation of the pelvic vessels of one of the monochorionic twins. The procedure was carried out in 61 pregnancies at 11+0 to 14+3 weeks’ gestation.

Co-twin died within weeks

In 28 cases the co-twin died within two weeks of surgery. The co-twin was alive in the remaining 33 cases. This means that 45.9 percent of pregnancies were left with a singleton within two weeks of surgery. In the 28 cases, where two twins died, there also was one miscarriage at 16 weeks. In the remaining 27 cases, the separate triplet was born alive at a median gestation of 38+2 weeks. In the 33 cases, where 2 babies were alive 2 week after surgery, there was one miscarriage at 23 weeks, and one neonatal death after delivery at 26 weeks. Overall half of the pregnancies resulted in the birth of one rather than the expected two babies.

About the Author

Kate Phillipa Clark

Kate Phillipa Clark has a bachelor in Journalism and an Executive Master in Corporate Communication. She is an identical twin and so is her father.