Monoamniotic twinning occurs in only 1% of twin pregnancies, but carries a high perinatal mortality rate. Early and reliable diagnosis is essential if attempts are to be made to reduce the complication rate. We report color Doppler demonstration of cord entanglement in the first trimester, which is diagnostic of monoamnionicity.
Two patients with twin pregnancies were examined in the first trimester with pulsed and color Doppler insonation of their umbilical arteries.
Cord entanglement was suspected and proved by demonstrating differing fetal heart rate patterns in the same direction on umbilical artery Doppler analysis of a common mass of cord vessels. Following appropriate counselling, medical amnioreduction was induced at 20 weeks of gestation to reduce fetal movements and worsening cord entanglement. Delivery was by elective Cesarean section at 32 weeks' gestation and monoamnionicity was confirmed.
We report a new sign for the demonstration of monoamnionicity in twin pregnancies in the first trimester. This should improve the reliability of early diagnosis, but further studies are required to confirm that, if cord entanglement occurs, it is usually present by the end of the first trimester. Copyright © 1999 International Society of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology