Third Trimester Structural and Diffusion Brain Imaging after Single Intrauterine Fetal Death in Monochorionic Twins: MRI-Based Cohort Study

M. Segev, B. Djurabayev, E. Hadi, Y. Yinon, S. Rabinowicz*, C. Hoffmann, S. Shrot

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Single intrauterine fetal death increases the risk of antenatal brain lesions in the surviving twin. We evaluated the prevalence of structural brain lesions, biometry, and diffusivity on routine third trimester MR imaging performed following single intrauterine fetal death. MATERIALS AND METHODS: In a retrospective MR imaging-based cohort study, we compared 29 monochorionic twins complicated with single intrauterine fetal death (14 following laser ablation treatment for twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome, 8 following selective fetal reduction, and 7 spontaneous) with 2 control cohorts (49 singleton fetuses and 28 uncomplicated twin fetuses). All fetuses in the single intrauterine fetal death group underwent fetal brain MR imaging as a routine third trimester evaluation. Structural brain lesions were analyzed. Cerebral biometry and diffusivity were measured and compared. RESULTS: Brain lesions consistent with the evolution of prior ischemic injury were found in 1 of 29 fetuses, not detected by ultrasound. No acute brain infarction, hemorrhage, or cortical abnormalities were found. Supratentorial biometric measurements in the single intrauterine fetal death group were significantly smaller than those in the singleton group, but not significantly different from those in the uncomplicated twin group. There were no significant differences in ADC values of the cerebral hemispheres, basal ganglia, and pons between the single intrauterine fetal death group and either control group. CONCLUSIONS: Although smaller brain biometry was found, normal diffusivity in surviving twins suggests normal parenchymal microstructure. The rate of cerebral structural injury was relatively low in our cohort, arguing against the routine use of fetal brain MR imaging in twin pregnancies complicated with single intrauterine fetal death. Larger prospective studies are necessary to guide appropriate surveillance protocol and parental counseling in twin pregnancies complicated by single intrauterine fetal death.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)620-626
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Neuroradiology
Volume43
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2022

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Third Trimester Structural and Diffusion Brain Imaging after Single Intrauterine Fetal Death in Monochorionic Twins: MRI-Based Cohort Study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this