Subsequent fertility, pregnancy, and gynecologic outcomes after fetoscopic laser therapy for twin-twin transfusion syndrome compared with normal monochorionic twin gestations

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Abstract

BACKGROUND:

An improved survival and quality of life for neonatal survivors after fetoscopic laser therapy for twin-twin transfusion syndrome has been reported. However, little is known about the medium-term maternal effects after fetoscopic laser therapy with respect to reproductive and gynecologic outcomes.

OBJECTIVE:

The objective of this study was to document reproductive, obstetric, gynecological, and psychological outcomes in women who underwent fetoscopic laser therapy for twin-twin transfusion syndrome.

STUDY DESIGN:

This was a monocentric controlled study on consecutive women who underwent fetoscopic laser therapy for twin-twin transfusion syndrome between 2007 and 2013 at the University Hospitals Leuven (cases; n = 198). Controls were women followed up during the same time period for an uncomplicated monochorionic diamniotic twin pregnancy and with an uneventful course (controls; n = 211). All patients received a questionnaire inquiring on their fertility, later pregnancies, and gynecological outcomes.

RESULTS:

The response rate was 50.4% (cases: n = 95; controls: n = 109). Most baseline characteristics were similar across both groups. Women in the fetoscopic laser therapy group attempted a new pregnancy more frequently (34% [31 of 92] vs 21% [22 of 107] in controls; P < .05) and became pregnant more often (100% [31 of 31] vs 82% [18 of 22]; P < .05).We observed a shorter interpregnancy interval in cases than controls (median interval, 12 [interquartile range, 5–27] vs 24 [interquartile range, 15–30] months) (P < .05). This was also observed in cases who lost one or both fetuses or babies in the index pregnancy (median interval, 9 [interquartile range, 3.5–25.5] months; P < .05). The complication rate during subsequent pregnancies (26% [8 of 31] vs 11% [2 of 19]; P = .194) and at delivery (17% [5 of 30] vs 11% [2 of 19]; P = .554) were comparable. More women who underwent fetoscopic laser coagulation reported relevant psychological symptoms (44% [40 of 92] vs 21% [23 of 107]; P < .05). When only women in whom there was a double-surviving twin pair were considered, there were no differences in psychological symptoms compared with controls (16% [15 of 55] vs 21% [23 of 107]; P = .411). Gynecological problems were equally frequent in both groups (20% [18 of 92] vs 31% [33 of 107]; P = .069).

CONCLUSION:

No adverse medium-term maternal effects with respect to fertility, obstetric, and gynecological outcomes were observed after fetoscopic laser therapy. However, these women reported more psychological or emotional problems than women with monochorionic diamniotic who did not have laser therapy, in particular when this was complicated by a fetal loss.

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