Background: Multifetal pregnancy reduction has been implemented for improving the outcome of multifetal pregnancies. Recent studies reported no difference in pregnancy outcome between reduced twins and non-reduced twins, but the neonatal course and subsequent outcome in reduced twin pregnancies were not well documented.
Objective: To compare the neonatal course and outcome, as well as the gestational and labor characteristics, in twins from reduced multifetal pregnancies and in non-reduced twins.
Methods: This is a retrospective case-control study of the neonatal course of twins from reduced multifetal pregnancies. We found 64 mothers with multifetal pregnancy reduction who delivered twins during 1989–1997; 64 gestational age-matched non-reduced twin pregnancies served as controls. The following neonatal variables were examined: major malformations; small birth weight for gestational age; and neonatal morbidities including respiratory distress syndrome, apnea, pneumothorax, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, hyperbilirubinemia, sepsis, necrotizing enterocolitis, retinopathy of prematurity, seizures, intraventricular hemorrhage, periventricular leukomalacia, ventriculomegaly, and hydrocephalus. In addition, we evaluated several neonatal interventions (surfactant replacement, mechanical ventilation, phototherapy, total parenteral nutrition), and some laboratory abnormalities (thrombocytopenia, leukopenia, anemia, and hypoglycemia), duration of hospitalization, and neonatal mortality.
Results: Gestational and labor variables were not significantly different between multifetal pregnancies reduced to twins and non-reduced twin pregnancies. The neonatal morbidity and mortality were not significantly different between twin neonates from multifetal pregnancy reduction and non-reduced control twins.
Conclusions: Multifetal pregnancy reduction to twins appears to bear no adverse effect on the intrauterine course of the remaining fetuses or their neonatal course and outcome when born after 28 weeks of gestation.