Can twin fetuses be numerically clustered characterizing fetal cardiovascular system function?

Early Human Development
S YanaiH Nakano


To clarify whether twin fetuses could be clustered quantitatively observing in utero cardiovascular system function, 71 twin-paired fetuses between 24 and 40 weeks' gestation were subjected. Cluster analysis was performed using four variables; end-diastolic dimension and fractional shortening in the right ventricle (EDD, FS), resistance index in the umbilical artery (RIUA) and urine production rate (UPR). Three different groups were revealed. In Cluster 1 (C1), larger fetuses showed a significant increase in both EDD and UPR, and a significant decrease in FS, while smaller fetuses had a significant increase in RIUA and a decrease in UPR. In Cluster 2 (C2), smaller fetuses showed a significant increase in RIUA. Cluster 3 (C3) showed no significant deviations in any variable when referring to singleton pregnancies. C1 had a higher perinatal mortality rate than either C2 or C3, with the cause of death being cardiac failure in larger fetuses and renal failure in smaller fetuses. The frequencies of discordancy, hemoglobin difference above 5 g/dl and monochorionic placenta in C1 were also higher than fetuses in C3. C2 also showed higher frequencies of discordancy and small-for-gestational age than C3 fetuses. In C2 and C3, respirator...Continue Reading


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