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COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE

Screening for trisomy 21 in twin pregnancies in the first trimester: an update of the impact of chorionicity on maternal serum markers

Kevin Spencer, Karl O Kagan, Kypros H Nicolaides
Prenatal Diagnosis 2008, 28 (1): 49-52
18186136

OBJECTIVE: To examine the distribution of first-trimester biochemical markers of aneuploidy in twin pregnancies, and to assess whether there are differences in the distributions between monochorionic and dichorionic twins.

METHODS: Maternal serum-free beta-hCG and PAPP-A were measured between 11 + 0 and 13 + 6 weeks as part of a routine first-trimester screening program in conjunction with fetal nuchal translucency (NT) performed at two sites. Data from twin pregnancies were extracted from the fetal databases along with information on the chorionicty. The individual marker concentrations were expressed as weight corrected, ethnicity corrected, smoking corrected and IVF corrected MoM using data from singleton pregnancies as the reference. The overall medians were compared to those in singleton pregnancies and between monochorionic and dichorionic twins.

RESULTS: Data was available from 1914 sets of twins. Of these, 1214 had information with respect to chorionicity, with 1024 being dichorionic and 190 being monochorionic. The overall median weight corrected, ethnicity corrected, smoking corrected and IVF corrected MoM amongst twin pregnancies were 2.023 for free beta-hCG (sd log(10) MoM = 0.2611 and 2.121 for PAPP-A (sd log(10) MoM = 0.2255) -- both medians were significantly greater than the medians in singleton pregnancies (1.00 MoM). In the case of monochorionic and dichorionic twins the median weight corrected, ethnicity corrected, smoking corrected and IVF corrected, free beta-hCG MoM's were not significantly different (1.983 v 2.041), however for PAPP-A the median weight corrected, ethnicity corrected, smoking corrected and IVF corrected MoM in monochorionic twins was significantly lower than in dichorionic twins (1.756 v 2.250) whilst the sd log(10) MoM's were not significantly different (0.2185 v 0.2167).

CONCLUSION: Screening in twin pregnancies requires adjustment of the calculated MoM to account for the presence of two fetuses. In general, for free beta-hCG, this should be by dividing the observed corrected MoM by 2.023. For PAPP-A two different factors are required - 2.192 in dichorionic twins and 1.788 in monochorionic twins.

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