Strauss, Alexander; Paek, Bettina W.; Genzel-Boroviczény, Orsolya; Schulze, Andreas; Janssen, Udo; Hepp, Hermann
Multifetal gestation - Maternal and perinatal outcome of 112 pregnancies.
In: Fetal Diagnosis and Therapy, No. 4: pp. 209-217
Purpose: Multifetal pregnancy reduction is a widespread `therapy' to diminish the risk of prematurity and adverse outcome for the survivors in higher order multiple gestation. The aim of our study was to determine the maternal and neonatal outcome of multifetal pregnancies under a conservative pregnancy management. Study Design: A retrospective review of 112 multifetal pregnancies is presented. All higher order multiple pregnancies delivered after 25 weeks of gestation and managed at a single institution between 1982 and 1999 are included. Results: Triplets, quadruplets and quintuplets were delivered at a mean gestational age of 31 + 5, 29 + 5 and 28 + 4 weeks, respectively. The perinatal mortality was 14 for triplets and 36 for quadruplets. No quintuplet died in the perinatal period. Respiratory distress syndrome occurred in 23% of triplets, 65% of quadruplets and 75% of quintuplets, intracranial hemorrhage was diagnosed in 14% of triplets, 15% of quadruplets and 10% of quintuplets and retinopathy of prematurity was found in 10% of triplets, 9% of quadruplets and 25% of quintuplets. Discussion: Despite a low neonatal mortality, morbidity of higher order multiple gestations remains significant. Mortality and morbidity are related to preterm delivery but do not exceed the rates of singletons or twins of an identical gestational age. Favorable prognostic landmarks are a gestational age >30 weeks and a number of fetuses per pregnancy less than or equal to4. Conclusion: The risks of multifetal pregnancies are significant. Therefore, evidence-based counseling of couples seeking treatment for infertility and prevention of higher order multiple pregnancies through the prudent use of reproductive techniques attains paramount importance. Copyright (C) 2002 S. Karger AG, Basel.