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Radiofrequency ablation for selective reduction in complex monochorionic pregnancies

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Please cite this paper as: Paramasivam G, Wimalasundera R, Wiechec M, Zhang E, Saeed F, Kumar S. Radiofrequency ablation for selective reduction in complex monochorionic pregnancies. BJOG 2010;117:1294–1298.

Monochorionic pregnancies present unique challenges for selective fetal reduction, as vaso-occlusive procedures are required to ablate blood flow, usually in the umbilical cord, to achieve asystole in the selected fetus. We describe a case series of 35 monochorionic pregnancies (27 twins and eight triplets) undergoing selective fetal reduction using radiofrequency ablation. All procedures were performed under local anaesthesia. The procedure was technically successful in all cases. The live born rate was 88.6%. One (2.9%) woman miscarried within 2 weeks of the procedure, and two (5.7%) babies were stillborn. The median gestation at delivery was 36 weeks of gestation (range 24–41 weeks). There were no maternal complications. The median gestational age at procedure was 17 + 3 weeks (range from 12 + 5 to 27 + 4 weeks). All women had antenatal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) post procedure. There were two (5.7%) cases of abnormal brain imaging. Our experience suggests that radiofrequency ablation is a safe and effective procedure for fetal reduction in complicated monochorionic pregnancies.

Keywords: Ablation; brain injury; gestation; monochorionic; radiofrequency; termination of pregnancy

Document Type: Short Communication


Publication date: September 1, 2010


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