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Elsevier, Placenta, 2-3(28), p. 209-211

DOI: 10.1016/j.placenta.2006.03.006



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Assessment of Feto-fetal Transfusion Flow Through Placental Arterio-venous Anastomoses in a Unique Case of Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Syndrome

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This paper is available in a repository.

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In vivo measurements of blood flow through arterio-venous anastomoses in monochorionic twin placentas have recently been attempted with Doppler ultrasound, but the accuracy is questionable. We present a case of twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome treated with fetoscopic laser surgery. The ex-recipient subsequently became severely anaemic and was treated with an intrauterine blood transfusion at 29 weeks' gestation. After birth, a placental injection study identified residual unidirectional arterio-venous anastomoses from the ex-recipient to the ex-donor without arterio-venous anastomoses in the opposite direction. Prospective measurements of decreasing haemoglobin levels between the intrauterine transfusion and birth allowed us to assess the net blood flow through the anastomoses as 27.9mL/24h. This finding may also explain the inaccuracy of Doppler flow measurements, as such low flow velocities cannot possibly be detected with current Doppler techniques.