Cases reported "Diseases in Twins"

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11/86. Ultrasound in the diagnosis of twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome--a preliminary report.

    OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to show the diagnostic possibilities of ultrasound in twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS), to demonstrate its usefulness in cases of hemoglobin difference < 5 g/dL in neonates as well as in cases complicated by intrauterine death of one or both twins. STUDY DESIGN: The study included 4 pairs of twins. In two cases 3 fetuses died in utero. In the other two the hemoglobin difference in newborn infants was < 5 g/dL. The ultrasound examination, evaluating the fetal anatomy and biometry, amniotic fluid volume, placentation, was performed. The special attention was paid to polyhydramnios/oligohydramnios, discordant fetal growth (fetal weight, abdominal circumference), the presence of fetal hydrops, ascites, pericardial effusion. Doppler blood flow velocimetry has been done in umbilical vessels, middle cerebral artery. The data was compared with normal reference values for singleton pregnancies. The waveforms from both uterine arteries were also evaluated to exclude placental insufficiency. Additionally the blood flow through the AV valves was measured to exclude or confirm its regurgitation. Postnatally the hemoglobin difference was evaluated if available and compared with sonographic findings. RESULTS: In all cases inter-twin difference in abdominal circumference was greater than 18 mm and inter-twin weight difference of more than 15%. We observed polyhydramnios/oligohydramnios in all twin pregnancies. It has been found decreased PI in middle cerebral artery in larger fetus (recipient) in all our cases (comparing to single pregnancy). PI values for this vessel in smaller fetuses were within normal range (for single pregnancy). PI values in umbilical arteries of recipients were abnormal (increased PI or absent end-diastolic flow). COMMENTS: The sonographic criteria seem to be very useful in diagnosis of twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome, especially in cases where the measurement of hemoglobin level is impossible. Doppler blood flow velocimetry in fetal vessels helps to explain the changes in fetal hemodynamics in TTTS.
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12/86. Prolonged QT interval and sudden infant death--report of two cases.

    In the two cases where infants died suddenly and unexpectedly the electrocardiogram (ECG) of a younger sibling (case 1) and of a living twin (case 2) led to the suspicion that the two infants could have died from long qt syndrome (LQTS). In case 1, a His bundle (HB) dispersion and a pronounced hypoplasia of the right external nucleus arcuatus were detected. In case 2, a severe interstitial pneumonia and an accompanying mild myocarditis were found by histology. Molecular genetic investigations of the coding regions of the genes, HERG, KVLQT1 and SCN5A gave no indication for the mutations, thus, affecting related myocardial ion channels as possible sources of inhomogeneity of repolarisation.Since a molecular genetic deviation could not yet be elaborated the possible role of related disturbance remains unknown.
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13/86. A case of non-immune hydrops fetalis with congenital cystic adenomatoid malformation of the left lung in a twin.

    hydrops fetalis is a rare condition that occurs in one out of every 1,400-4,000 pregnancies. There are two types, immune and non-immune. It can be caused by a maternal-fetal incompatibility due to the Rh factor or, more rarely, the Kell factor or due to other antigens to red corpuscles. Non-immune types of hydrops have a complex multiform pathogenesis and in 50% of the cases they are of idiopathic nature. The causes that could determine non-immune hydrops are manifold and in 50% of the cases they are of an idiopathic nature. Independently of the clinical condition, the presented case could be classified in those forms of pathogenesis in which there is the presence of a congenital cystic adenomatoid malformation (CAM), not encountered in the fetal ultrasound performed at the sixteenth week of pregnancy. The particularity of our case is due to the association of the fetal hydrops of the CAM type in only one of the two twins. The presented case is classified in those forms of hydrops that are expressed with a clinical trend towards a worse prognosis, characterized by the intrauterine death of the fetus or the birth of a hydropic fetus that does not survive because of respiratory insufficiency and cardiocirculatory collapse.
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14/86. Primary cardiomyopathy in identical twins.

    Seventeen year old identical twin brothers with no family history of cardiopathy began experiencing palpitations almost simultaneously. In both, examination revealed marked cardiomegaly and hypokinesia of the ventricular walls, and clinical and radiologic signs of progressive cardiac failure developed a few days later. Both boys died suddenly, 49 days and 5 months, respectively, after the initial examination. Electrocardiographic and vectorcardiographic studies revealed a severe intraventricular conduction disturbance that coincided with histologic changes in the myocardial tissue, including profuse interstitial fibrosis, hypertrophy and degeneration of the myocardial fibers, aberrant arrangement of the muscular fibers and considerable alteration of the structure of cardiac tissue. In the absence of hereditary and chromosomal factors, and excluding possible viral intervention during fetal life, it is believed that a teratogenic factor can produce the structural alterations of the tissue and derangement of the fibers observed in these hearts. The irregular contractions of the heart at the level of the net-like meshwork, disarrangement of myocardial fibers, and adaptative mechanisms of the heart inherent in the destruction of the contractile tissue contributed to the functional cardiac disorders that resulted in congestive heart failure and sudden death in these twins.
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15/86. Multiple cystic and focal encephalomalacia in infancy and childhood with brain stem damage.

    Two cases are described in which damage to the brain stem was associated with extensive necrosis of the cerebral hemisphere. In the first case--a monochorionic twin--there was clear evidence that injury of an ischaemic or hypoxic type had occurred during fetal life and some evidence that an inadequate share of the placental circulation was an important aetiological factor. In the second case death occurred 4 yr after an asphyxial episode at birth. The lesions in the hemispheres and brain stem were extensive, although less than in the first example. The lesions are discussed in the context of our knowledge of the anatomy and physiology of the developing nervous system. Although they cannot as yet be fitted into the concepts of "critical periods" and "vulnerable periods" of development, this is perhaps because observations on human cases are scanty in comparison with the extensive animal studies which have been reported. The lesions are contrasted and compared with those seen in animals.
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16/86. EXIT procedure in a twin gestation and review of the literature.

    prenatal diagnosis can show masses of the fetal neck, mouth, and face that can potentially cause respiratory distress at birth. To prevent such an emergency, the EXIT (ex utero intrapartum technique) is performed: it is the intrapartum intubation of the fetus at term while still connected to the placenta. The EXIT procedure was first performed in a case of cervical teratoma. Up to now a total of 34 cases are described, mostly cervical teratomas (13 cases), lymphangiomas (7), epignathus (3); babies' outcome has been successful in 25 of them, with one death related to the procedure. Among the reported cases we are aware of only one where EXIT was performed in a twin gestation, in which the normal twin was delivered first. In our case the normal fetus was posterior to the twin with cervical malformation, requiring us to work on the latter while the former was still in the uterus. After having safely secured the airway in twin A, twin B was prompt delivered with excellent general conditions. Our limited experience enlarges the possibility to perform this prenatal procedure even in "nonstandard" conditions, such as a twin gestation, and may prove useful to those who are going to deal with such issues.
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17/86. prenatal diagnosis of pyruvate dehydrogenase deficiency using magnetic resonance imaging.

    INTRODUCTION: Pyruvate dehydrogenase deficiency is an inherited inborn error of metabolism associated with early neonatal death and long-term neurologic sequelae in survivors. prenatal diagnosis currently relies on isolation of fetal cells for subsequent genetic and/or biochemical studies. magnetic resonance imaging and magnetic resonance spectroscopy have been used on occasion for both postnatal diagnosis and management of pyruvate dehydrogenase deficiency. We illustrate a case in which these non-invasive modalities also prove useful for prenatal diagnosis of this condition. CASE: A 31-year-old multipara with a history of two prior infants affected with pyruvate dehydrogenase deficiency presented with a spontaneous dichorionic, diamniotic twin pregnancy. magnetic resonance imaging and magnetic resonance spectroscopy were performed on both fetuses. magnetic resonance imaging of the presenting (male) fetus demonstrated mild ventriculomegaly, increased extracerebrospinal fluid, and decreased cortical sulcation and gyration. The non-presenting (female) fetus was structurally normal. magnetic resonance spectroscopy spectra were obtained for both fetuses, and were normal. The diagnosis of pyruvate dehydrogenase deficiency was made in the presenting fetus after delivery on the basis of subsequent mortality from severe lactic acidosis. CONCLUSION: Prenatal MR imaging of the fetal brain can be used for prenatal diagnosis in fetuses at risk for pyruvate dehydrogenase deficiency. Prenatal MR spectroscopy, although technically feasible, does not appear to have a role in the prenatal diagnosis of this condition.
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18/86. Parasitic omphalopagus complicated by omphalocele and congenital heart disease.

    Conjoined twins occur in approximately one of every 50,000 to 200,000 births. Atypical or parasitic conjoined twins result from the embryonic death of one twin, which leaves behind body parts vascularized by the primary twin. Omphalopagus refers to conjoined twins joined at the level of the umbilicus. The authors report a case of atypical omphalopagus involving an acardiac, acephalic, parasitic twin and a host twin with a large omphalocele, transposition of the great arteries, and aortic coarctation. The authors briefly review reported cases of parasitic omphalopagus and emphasize the role of intensive neonatal care, preoperative planning, and staged surgical intervention in the successful management of complicated variants.
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19/86. Arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy/dysplasia: a case report of identical twins with heart failure.

    Arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy/dysplasia is characterized by the progressive replacement of myocardium by fatty or fibrofatty tissue. Presenting symptoms are generally related to ventricular arrhythmias, including sudden cardiac death. heart failure due to right ventricular and sometimes left ventricular dysfunction is uncommon in the early stages of the disease, but is known to occur in advanced cases. This case report describes identical adolescent twins with presenting symptoms related predominantly to right heart failure.
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20/86. Autosomal dominant acute necrotizing encephalopathy.

    OBJECTIVE: To define the clinical and biochemical abnormalities of an autosomal dominant form of acute encephalopathy. methods: The clinical details of 11 affected family members in comparison with 63 unaffected relatives were analyzed. RESULTS: Affected children become comatose after onset of a febrile illness. Outcomes include full recovery, permanent neurologic impairment, and death. Recurrences produce more severe impairments. Lesions of necrotizing encephalopathy of the thalamus and brainstem are present on autopsy and MRI. oxidative phosphorylation of intact mitochondria from a muscle biopsy shows loose coupling. Unaffected family members, including obligate carriers, share no clinical characteristics, demonstrating incomplete penetrance. CONCLUSIONS: Characteristic pathology and MRI findings define this disorder of autosomal dominant acute encephalopathy. Leigh syndrome and sporadic acute necrotizing encephalopathy share similarities but are distinct.
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