Selective termination and elective reduction in twin pregnancies: 10 years experience at a single centre

Yuval Yaron*, Karen D. Johnson, Peter K. Bryant-Greenwood, Ralph L. Kramer, Mark P. Johnson, Mark I. Evans

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Selective termination is employed in multifetal pregnancies, in the presence of an abnormal fetus, in order to improve the prognosis of the normal fetuses. The term elective reduction is used to describe reduction in twin pregnancies for maternal medical conditions, psychological, or socioeconomic reasons. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the factors that influence outcome in such pregnancies. Eighty-two twin pregnancies underwent selective termination (n = 59) or elective reduction (n = 23) over a 10-year period. Early procedures, performed ≤ 14 weeks (n = 31), had a pregnancy loss of 9.7% and a mean procedure-to-loss interval of 4.1 ± 2.8 weeks; mean birthweight was 3299 ± 395 g in survivors, with a mean gestational age at delivery of 38.4 ± 2.3 weeks. In comparison, procedures performed > 14 weeks (n = 51) had a pregnancy loss of 7.8%, with a procedure-to-loss interval of 1.2 ± 0.6 weeks. Mean birthweight was 2577 ± 999 g, with a mean gestational age at delivery of 35.7 ± 5 weeks. In conclusion, outcomes were more favourable among patients who underwent a first trimester procedure. The slight increase in pregnancy loss may be attributed to a higher than expected rate of spontaneous abortions in the first trimester, as manifested by the higher procedure-to-loss interval after a first trimester procedure. These facts underscore the importance of early detection of fetal abnormalities in twin pregnancies by ultrasonography and chorionic villus sampling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2301-2304
Number of pages4
JournalHuman Reproduction
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Elective reduction
  • Multifetal pregnancy reduction
  • Selective termination


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