Selective reduction in multiple pregnancies

Antsaklis Α, Anastasakis Ε

1st Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Athens, Alexandra hospital, Athens, Greece

Correspondence: Antsaklis Aristidis, 1st Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Alexandra hospital, 80 Vasilissis Sofias Avenue, GR-11528, Athens, Greece

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The percentage of multiple pregnancies has increased, mainly due to the uncontrolled use of the assisted conception techniques. Multifetal pregnancy reduction (MFPR) has been used to reduce the risks associated with these high risk pregnancies. It is performed in the first trimester of pregnancy by transabdominal injection of potassium chloride in the fetal heart. The risk of miscarriage seems to be associated with the final number of fetuses. A review of the literature suggests that MFPR results in a better pregnancy outcome, regardless of the initial number of fetuses. The reduction to a lower number of fetuses reduces fetal losses, prematurity, infant mortality and morbidity.

Key words: fetal reduction; multiple pregnancy; twins; perinatal outcome