Targeted first-trimester prenatal diagnosis before fetal reduction in triplet gestations and subsequent outcome

A. Geipel*, C. Berg, A. Katalinic, H. Plath, M. Hansmann, J. Smrcek, U. Gembruch, U. Germer

*Corresponding author for this work
9 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To assess the feasibility of targeted first-trimester ultrasound evaluation in triplet gestations and to report the outcome in reduced and expectantly managed triplets. Methods: This was a retrospective analysis of 127 triplets at 11-14 weeks with targeted ultrasound examination including nucbal translucency (NT) screening. Results: One or more abnormal findings were observed in 33 of 381 fetuses (8.7%), including increased NT (n = 18), malformations (n = 4), aneuploidy (n = 3), relative intrauterine growth restriction (n = 2) or spontaneous demise (n = 13). Of 63 patients (49%) who chose reduction, selective termination due to abnormal findings was performed in 13 fetuses. The rates of complete abortion < 24 weeks were 9.8% and 3.2% for those with expectant management and fetal reduction, respectively. Expectantly managed triplets delivered significantly earlier (31.1 ± 3.8 vs. 35.64 ± 3.3 weeks) (P < 0.01) with a lower mean birth weight (1483 ± 552 g vs. 2305 ± 557 g) (P < 0.01) and a lower number of liveborn fetuses (85.6% vs. 97.4%) (P < 0.01) than those reduced. Conclusion: Targeted first-trimester ultrasound is feasible and reliable in triplet gestations and should be an integral part of the counseling process. It results in more accurate selection for those who consider fetal reduction. Our data further support fetal reduction as a valuable strategy to improve perinatal outcome in triplet pregnancies.

Original languageEnglish
JournalUltrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)724-729
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 01.12.2004


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