Fetal and neonatal brain injury in twins complicated by twin anemia polycythemia sequence

Hadar Rosen*, Ronit Silber, Anat Schwartz, Hagai Avnet, Shlomo Lipitz, Shai Shrot, Chen Hoffmann, Boaz Weisz, Yoav Yinon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: To determine the rate of fetal and neonatal brain lesions and define risk factors for such lesions in pregnancies complicated by Twin Anemia Polycythemia Sequence (TAPS). Methods: A retrospective cohort study of monochorionic twin pregnancies which were diagnosed with TAPS in a single tertiary medical center between 2013 and 2021. Pregnancies were followed with fetal brain neurosonogram every 2 weeks and fetal brain MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) was performed when indicated at 28–32 weeks of gestation; post-natal brain imaging included neonatal brain ultrasound. Pregnancies with pre- and post-natal brain lesions were compared to those without such findings. Results: Overall, 23 monochorionic diamniotic pregnancies were diagnosed with TAPS over the study period resulting in perinatal survival of 91.3% (42/46). In 6/23 (26%) pregnancies and 7/46 (15.2%) fetuses pre- or post-natal brain lesions were detected, of whom five were the polycythemic twins and two were the anemic twins. Brain findings included intra-cerebral hemorrhage and ischemic lesions and were diagnosed prenatally in 6/7 (85.7%) cases. No risk factors for severe brain lesions were identified. Conclusions: TAPS may place the fetuses and neonates at increased risk for cerebral injuries. Incorporation of fetal brain imaging protocols may enhance precise prenatal diagnosis and allow for accurate parental counseling and post-natal care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)978-984
Number of pages7
JournalPrenatal Diagnosis
Issue number8
StatePublished - Jul 2022


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