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MINERVA GINECOLOGICA

A Journal on Obstetrics and Gynecology


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Minerva Ginecologica 2001 April;53(2):113-20

language: Italian

Embryo-fetal diseases in multiple pregnancies

Colla F., Alba E., Grio R.


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Background. Embryo-fetal diseases are the consequence of prenatal (progenetic and metagenetic or environmental) and intranatal (of a traumatic, infective, toxic nature) pathological factors. In multiple pregnancies this complex etiopathogenesis also includes an altered didymous embriogenesis. This study aimed to evaluate the pathologies affecting the fetus in multiple pregnancy, a special biological situation leading to the potential onset of severe fetal and neonatal damage.
Methods. The authors studied 205 patients with multiple pregnancies, including 199 bigeminal, 5 trigeminal and 1 quadrigeminal, admitted to the Department ''B'' of the Obstetrics and Gynecological Clinic of Turin University between 1989-1999. Possible embyro-fetal damage was examined using a chronological criterion: namely following the development of the multiple fetuses from the zygotic to the neonatal phase.
Results. Pregnancies were biamniotic bichorionic in 54% of cases, biamniotic monochorionic in 45% and monochorionic monoamniotic in 1%. There were a total of 154 (79.38%) premature births out of 194 and neonatal birth weight was always SGA (small for gestational age). 66.84% of newborns were LBW (<2500 g) and 7.14% were VLBW (<1500 g). Fetal mortality (2.29%) was higher than early neonatal mortality (1.53%). Perinatal mortality (3.82%) was three times higher than in all neonates from the same period (1.03%).
Conclusions. The severe embryo-fetal and neonatal damage found in multiple pregnancies is a clinical reality that calls for adequate diagnostic and therapeutic measures, and above all specific medical and social prevention to limit maternal pathogenic risks.

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