Twin pregnancies are associated with a higher risk of perinatal mortality and morbidity compared with singleton and require more intensive prenatal care.
The aim of this study was to review and compare the recommendations from published guidelines on twin pregnancies.
A descriptive review of guidelines from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, the International Society of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology, the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, the Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland, the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics, the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada, and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists on the management of twin pregnancies was conducted.
All the guidelines highlight the importance of an accurate assessment of chorionicity, amnionicity, and gestational age in the first trimester. They also recommend the performance of nuchal translucency and a detailed anomaly scan. The ultrasound surveillance protocol is similar in all guidelines, that is, every 2 weeks for monochorionic and every 4 weeks for dichorionic twins. On the other hand, there are differences regarding the timing and mode of delivery, especially in monochorionic diamniotic twins, in the definition and management of fetal growth discordance, the use of cervical length to screen for preterm birth, and the timing of corticosteroids' administration.
The differences in the reviewed guidelines on the management of twin pregnancies highlight the need for an adoption of an international consensus, in order to improve perinatal outcomes of twin pregnancies.
Obstetricians and gynecologists, family physicians
After participating in this activity, the learner should be better able to identify all aspects of the antenatal surveillance of twin pregnancies and the importance of first trimester determination of chorionicity; explain the birth issues of twin pregnancies, including recommendations on mode and timing of delivery; and describe the possible complications in pregnancy, their association with chorionicity, and appropriate management.