Objective: To determine among twins in labor: 1) the relative accuracy of an intrapartum sonographic estimate of the birth weight for both fetuses using biparietal diameter and abdominal circumference, 2) the accuracy of detecting discordant growth (difference in actual birth weights greater than or equal to 15%), and 3) the estimate of fetal weight for nonvertex twin B that would reliably avoid breech extraction of infants less than 1500 g.
Methods: Retrospectively, we identified and analyzed parturients with twins who had an intrapartum sonogram performed by a house officer assigned to the labor and delivery suite.
Results: The mean birth weight (+/- standard deviation) for the twin A group was 1910 +/- 628 g and for twin B was 1869 +/- 668 g. The mean standardized absolute errors for the twin A group (121 +/- 118 g/kg) and the twin B group (92 +/- 67 g/kg) were not significantly different (P = .06). Analysis of variance revealed that regardless of the presentation of the fetuses, the mean standardized absolute error was not significantly different (P = .10). Using a difference in the estimates of birth weight of 15% or greater, the positive and negative predictive values of detecting discordant growth within a twin pair were 53 and 83%, respectively. Among 30 vertex-nonvertex twin pairs, 12 of the second fetuses had actual birth weights of 1500 g or less, and all were estimated to weigh less than 1700 g.
Conclusions: The intrapartum sonographic estimate of fetal weight in twin pregnancy by house staff appears reliable, and the accuracy of prediction is similar regardless of presentation, discordance, or actual birth weight greater or less than 1500 g. To avoid vaginal delivery of a persistent nonvertex twin B with a birth weight of 1500 g or less, a sonographic estimate of 1700 g for the second fetus may be adequate. (Obstet Gynecol 1993;82:523-6)
(C) 1993 The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists