Selective reduction in complicated monochorionic twins: Prediction of obstetric outcome and comparison of techniques

Y. Yinon*, E. Ashwal, B. Weisz, B. Chayen, E. Schiff, S. Lipitz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Objectives To compare the outcomes of radiofrequency ablation (RFA) and bipolar cord coagulation (BPC) methods for selective feticide in complicated monochorionic (MC) twin gestations and to determine risk factors for adverse pregnancy outcome. Methods This was a retrospective cohort study of all patients with complicated MC twin pregnancy who underwent selective reduction in a single tertiary care center between 2000 and 2014. We compared the two methods with respect to various demographic, obstetric and perinatal outcome variables. Results Fifty-three selective terminations in complicated MC twin gestations were performed, 36 by RFA and 17 by BPC. Each technique resulted in a similar overall survival rate of the remaining twin (88.9% vs 76.5%, P = 0.25). Likewise, the mean procedure-to-delivery interval, the rate of spontaneous preterm delivery < 37, < 34, < 32 and < 28 weeks and the rate of preterm prelabor rupture of the membranes did not differ between the groups. However, among patients in the BPC group, there was a trend towards earlier gestational age at delivery (31.3 vs 35.0 weeks, P = 0.09) compared with in the RFA group. There was selective reduction by RFA due to selective intrauterine growth restriction (sIUGR) in 19 cases, 17 (89.5%) of which survived perinatally, with delivery at a median gestational age of 37 weeks. There were no significant differences in perinatal outcome, irrespective of whether the procedure was performed pre- or post-viability. All post-viability reductions, most of which were by RFA, resulted in perinatal survival. Conclusions Perinatal outcome of complicated MC twin gestations undergoing selective feticide seems to be similar regardless of whether termination is by BPC or RFA. Nevertheless, RFA appears to be particularly useful in MC twins complicated by sIUGR and in cases requiring selective reduction beyond the age of viability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)670-677
Number of pages8
JournalUltrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2015


  • bipolar cord coagulation
  • monochorionic twins
  • radiofrequency ablation
  • selective intrauterine growth restriction
  • selective reduction


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