Non-invasive prenatal testing in the management of twin pregnancies

By on June 29, 2021


Twin pregnancies are common and associated with pregnancy complications and adverse outcomes. Prenatal clinical management is intensive and has been hampered by inferior screening and less acceptable invasive testing. For aneuploidy screening, meta‐analyses show that non‐invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) through analysis of cell‐free DNA (cf‐DNA) is superior to serum and ultrasound‐based tests. The positive predictive value for NIPT is driven strongly by the discriminatory power of the assay and only secondarily by the prior risk. Uncertainties in a priori risks for aneuploidies in twin pregnancies are therefore of lesser importance with NIPT. Additional information on zygosity can be obtained using NIPT. Establishing zygosity can be helpful when chorionicity was not reliably established early in pregnancy or where the there is a concern for one versus two affected fetuses. In dizygotic twin pregnancies, individual fetal fractions can be measured to ensure that both values are satisfactory. Vanishing twins can be identified by NIPT. Although clinical utility of routinely detecting vanishing twins has not yet been demonstrated, there are individual cases where cf‐DNA analysis could be helpful in explaining unusual clinical or laboratory observations. We conclude that cf‐DNA analysis and ultrasound have synergistic roles in the management of multiple gestational pregnancies.

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