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Acute Fetal Metabolomic Changes in Twins Undergoing Fetoscopic Surgery for Twin-Twin Transfusion Syndrome.

Fetuses undergo major surgical stress as well as fluid shifts secondary to both twin-twin transfusion (TTTS) as well as the fetoscopic surgery for treatment of TTTS. While the pathophysiology of TTTS is understood, the acute metabolic changes that fetuses experience from fetoscopic surgery are not. We sought to evaluate the changes in recipient metabolomic profile secondary to TTTS surgery. Amniotic fluid was collected at the beginning and end of four TTTS surgical cases performed from 12/2022-2/2023. Samples were immediately processed and evaluated via NMR-based Metabolomics Facility protocol. In univariate analysis, 12 metabolites (glucose, lactate, and 10 key amino acids) showed statistically significant changes between the beginning and end of the surgery. Among these, 11 metabolites decreased at the end, while only lactate increased. Supervised oPLS-DA modeling revealed pyruvate and lactate as the two metabolites most impact on the variance between cases, and that 40% of metabolomic changes could be attributed directly to the timing that the sample was taken (i.e., if pre- or postoperatively). These results indicate significant metabolic changes in the recipient twin during fetoscopic surgery for TTTS. These findings of decreased glucose, increased lactate, and decreased amnio acids would indicate increased catabolism during surgery. This study raises questions regarding optimal maternal and fetal nutrition during surgery and if nutritional status could be optimized to further improve twin survival during fetoscopic surgery.

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