Demise of a twin is a complication that can occur in a twin pregnancy (particularly monochorionic pregnancies) and may be due to a wide range of conditions. Once the twin dies, most of the dead twin tends to be absorbed leaving behind a small flattened remnant known as the fetus papyraceus.
The incidence of intrauterine death of a single twin is ~6.5% (range 6-7%) 1-2.
Twin (or other multifetal) pregnancy with one twin having an absent heartbeat, and often being smaller than the live fetus, with oligohydramnios.
In some cases, only one fetus may be identified on ultrasound of a previously documented twin pregnancy 5, and this may be due to resorption or miscarriage of the demised twin, the so-called vanishing twin syndrome.
- twin embolization syndrome: the surviving healthy fetus in a monochorionic co-twin demise
- surviving co-twin is at risk of development of growth restriction, cerebral encephalomalacia, and microcephaly
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- 2. Lin IJ, Chen CH, Wang TM et-al. Infants of twin pregnancies with one twin demise in the uterus: a retrospective study. Acta Paediatr Taiwan. 40 (2): 92-6. - Pubmed citation
- 3. Hillman SC, Morris RK, Kilby MD. Single twin demise: consequence for survivors. Semin Fetal Neonatal Med. 2010;15 (6): 319-26. doi:10.1016/j.siny.2010.05.004 - Pubmed citation
- 4. Entezami M, Knoll U. Ultrasound diagnosis of fetal anomalies. Thieme Publishing Group. (2004) ISBN:3131318619. Read it at Google Books - Find it at Amazon
- 5. Woo HH, Sin SY, Tang LC. Single foetal death in twin pregnancies: review of the maternal and neonatal outcomes and management. Hong Kong Med J. 2000;6 (3): 293-300. Hong Kong Med J (link) - Pubmed citation
- 6. Shinde K, Bangal V, Borawake S et-al. intrauterine fetal demise of co-twin in mtulfetal pregnancy. International Journal of Biomedical Research. 10;3 (1): 52-55. doi:10.7439/ijbr.v3i1.258