Perinatal risk factors and neonatal complications in discordant twins admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit

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Abstract

Background

Many studies have shown a relationship between birth weight discordance and adverse perinatal outcomes. This study aimed to investigate the perinatal risk factors and neonatal complications of discordant twins who are admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit.

Methods

A total of 87 sets of twins were enrolled in this retrospective study, of which 22 sets were discordant twins and 65 sets were concordant twins. Binary Logistic regression analysis was used to identify the risk factors associated with the occurrence of discordant twins. The common neonatal complications of discordant twins were also investigated.

Results

Multivariate analysis showed that the use of assisted reproductive techniques, pregnancy-induced hypertension, and unequal placental sharing were risk factors for the occurrence of discordant twins. The incidence of small for gestational age infants and very low birth weight infants of discordant twins was significantly higher, while the birth weight of discordant twins was significantly lower than those of concordant twins. The duration of hospitalization of discordant twins was longer than that of concordant twins. The incidence of several neonatal complications, such as neonatal respiratory distress syndrome and intracranial hemorrhage, was higher in discordant twins than that in concordant twins. The percentage of those requiring pulmonary surfactant and mechanical ventilation was significantly higher in discordant twins than that in concordant twins.

Conclusions

Use of assisted reproductive techniques, pregnancy-induced hypertension, and unequal placental sharing are perinatal risk factors of discordant twins who are admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit. These infants are also much more likely to suffer from various neonatal complications, especially respiratory and central nervous system diseases. It is important to prevent the occurrence of discordant twins by decreasing these risk factors and timely treatment should be given to discordant twins.

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