Multifetal reduction increases the risk of preterm delivery and fetal growth restriction in twins: A case-control study

Richard K. Silver*, Brian T. Helfand, Tanya L. Russell, Ann Ragin, John S. Sholl, Scott N. MacGregor

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Objective: To compare pregnancy outcome in twin gestations resulting from multifetal reduction to 'primary' twin pregnancies derived from either spontaneous conception or infertility therapy. Design: Case-control study. Setting: University-affiliated tertiary center. Patient(s): Multifetal pregnancies (quadruplets or more) reduced to twins (group A) compared with twin gestations conceived either spontaneously (group B) or through infertility therapy (group C). Intervention(s): Multifetal reduction for group A; perinatal care for groups A, B, and C. Main Outcome Measure(s): Comparison of perinatal complications between groups including antepartum bleeding, premature membrane rupture, and preterm labor. Neonatal outcomes compared including gestational age at delivery, birth weight, incidence of fetal growth restriction, and twin discordancy. Result(s): A higher incidence of idiopathic preterm labor was noted in group A cases (14/18) compared with either of the control groups (B: 26/54, or C: 24/54). As a consequence, group A had the lowest gestational age at delivery (32.6 ± 3.9 weeks) compared with groups B (33.6 ± 4.4 weeks) and C (36.0 ± 3.4 weeks). Corresponding birth weights of both first- and second-born twins were significantly lower in group A compared with group C, whereas the birth weight comparison between groups A and B showed a nonsignificant difference. The proportion of pregnancies in which one or both twins weighed less than the 10th percentile was greatest in group A pregnancies (A: 5/18 versus C: 5/54). Discordant birth weight among twin pairs was proportionately greater for group A cases at both the 20% and 30% discordance levels. Conclusion(s): Twin gestations resulting from multifetal reduction are at increased risk for preterm birth, fetal growth restriction, and discordancy when compared with fertility therapy-derived, nonreduced twins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)30-33
Number of pages4
JournalFertility and Sterility
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1997


  • Multifetal reduction
  • growth restriction
  • preterm birth
  • twins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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