OBJECTIVE: To evaluate antenatal surveillance strategies and the optimal timing of delivery for monoamniotic twin pregnancies.
METHODS: Obstetric and perinatal outcomes were retrospectively retrieved for 193 monoamniotic twin pregnancies. Fetal and neonatal outcomes were compared between fetuses followed in an inpatient setting and those undergoing intensive outpatient follow-up from 26 to 28 weeks of gestation until planned cesarean delivery between 32 and 35 weeks of gestation. The risk of fetal death was compared with the risk of neonatal complications.
RESULTS: Fetal deaths occurred in 18.1% of fetuses (70/386). Two hundred ninety-five neonates from 153 pregnancies were born alive after 23 weeks of gestation. There were 17 neonatal deaths (5.8%), five of whom had major congenital anomalies. The prospective risk of a nonrespiratory neonatal complication was lower than the prospective risk of fetal death after 32 4/7 weeks of gestation (95% confidence interval 32 0/7–33 4/7). The incidence of death or a nonrespiratory neonatal complication was not significantly different between fetuses managed as outpatients (14/106 [13.2%]) or inpatients (15/142 [10.5%]; P=.55). Our statistical power to detect a difference in outcomes between these groups was low.
CONCLUSIONS: The in utero risk of a monoamniotic twin fetus exceeds the risk of a postnatal nonrespiratory complication at 32 4/7 weeks of gestation. If close fetal surveillance is instituted after 26–28 weeks of gestation and delivery takes place at approximately 33 weeks of gestation, the risk of fetal or neonatal death is low, no matter the surveillance setting.
LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: II