Friday, April 6, 2012

365 Days of Twinipedia - Day 110 | Twin to twin transfusion syndrome - TTTS

Day One-Hundred and nine of Twinipedia 

Fact #110
This is actually something that I had never heard of.  With Becca's background in midwifery though, she was aware that this could happen and could be life threatening to twins.

Twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS)

This syndrome is defined as a serious complication with twin pregnancy but it only happens when the twins are identical. The problem starts with the placenta, where one baby receives all the nutrients and the other receives none. It is often detected by scan where one baby much smaller than the other twin. There may also be no fluid surrounding the smaller baby.

If TTTS is not detected early enough or is left untreated, the smaller baby may die due to lack of nutrients.  Plus, the larger baby may have major complications or even die as well since there will be too much fluid in the sac and this can cause pressure on the heart which can cause subsequent heart failure.
The mother may also notice some signs of TTTS like increased fluid around her bump and a feeling of breathlessness.

Some additional information about TTTS from Wikipedia.  
"As a result of sharing a single placenta, the bloodsupplies of monochorionic twin fetuses can become connected, so that they share blood circulation: although each fetus uses its own portion of the placenta, the connecting blood vessels within the placenta allow blood to pass from one twin to the other. Depending on the number, type and direction of the interconnecting blood vessels (anastomoses), blood can be transferred disproportionately from one twin (the "donor") to the other (the "recipient"). The transfusion causes the donor twin to have decreased blood volume, retarding the donor's development and growth, and also decreased urinary output, leading to a lower than normal level of amniotic fluid (becomingoligohydramnios). The blood volume of the recipient twin is increased, which can strain the fetus's heart and eventually lead to heart failure, and also higher than normal urinary output, which can lead to excess amniotic fluid (becoming polyhydramnios)...
Severe TTTS has a 60–100% mortality rate."...

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