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Outcome of the surviving cotwin of a fetus papyraceus or of a dead fetus.

Serial ultrasound examinations have demonstrated that one of two gestational sacs in a twin pregnancy may often disappear. When it disappears at an early stage of gestation, the pregnancy may advance without any disturbance and the cotwin can be delivered well developed and lively. When the intrauterine death occurs in the second trimester, the dead fetus usually results in a fetus papyraceus and the cotwin continues to be alive near term. However, when death occurs in the last trimester, the viable twin may be spontaneously delivered soon and be premature. In some cases of late fetal death, the dead fetus may induce intravascular thromboses in many organs of the surviving cotwin, so that the living infant may develop cerebral palsy later after birth.

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