Twin embolization syndrome

Last revised by Dr Rohit Sharma on 22 Sep 2018

Twin embolization syndrome (TES) is a rare complication of a monozygotic twin pregnancy following an in utero demise of the co-twin.

It was traditionally thought to result from the passage of thromboplastic material into the circulation of the surviving twin which causes ischemic structural defects in various organs (particularly the highly vascularized organs such as the central nervous system, gastrointestinal tract, and genitourinary system). An acute hemodynamic shift from live to dead fetus resulting in hypoperfusion is more recently thought to play a role 3.

There is usually an underlying twin-twin transfusion syndrome as a causative association.

The presence of a dead twin associated with a surviving twin with various anomalies may suggest the diagnosis. Such anomalies include :

While it carries a poor outcome, prenatal sonographic diagnosis may influence the antenatal neonatal management of the surviving monozygous twin 1.

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