Blood flow changes in dichorionic twins with growth discordance.
A non-stress test, an ultrasound biometry (biparietal and abdominal diameter) and a Doppler sonography blood flow measurement (fetal descending aorta, umbilical artery and fetal middle cerebral artery) were performed in the third trimester of 130 multiple pregnancies. These three methods were compared in terms of their prognostic value for fetal growth retardation (81 from 263 children; defined as weight at birth < 10 percentile) and a pathological "fetal outcome" (76 from 263 children, defined as 5-min-Apgar < 8, umbilical artery-pH < 7.20 and transfer to neonatal intensive care unit). Fetal growth retardation could best be predicted by means of the Doppler results for all three blood vessels ("total Doppler result") (sensitivity of 75.9%). Doppler results for all three blood vessels showed the best result in predicting a pathological "fetal outcome"; the sensitivity was 60.3%. The biometric examinations with ultrasound and the non-stress test produced worse results compared to Doppler sonography. Doppler velocimetry of only one blood vessel showed worse results compared to Doppler velocimetry of more than one blood vessel. Doppler sonography should be performed as a routine test for all multiple pregnancies. More intensive pregnancy surveillance is urgently recommended with pathological findings.