Post-laser twin anemia polycythemia sequence: diagnosis, management and outcome in an international cohort of 164 cases

Lisanne S.a. Tollenaar, Enrico Lopriore, Stefano Faiola, Mariano Lanna, Julien Stirnemann, Yves Ville, Liesbeth Lewi, Roland Devlieger, Anne Sophie Weingertner, Romain Favre, Sebastian R. Hobson, Greg Ryan, Carlota Rodo, Silvia Arévalo, Philipp Klaritsch, Patrick Greimel, Kurt Hecher, Manuela Tavares De Sousa, Asma Khalil, Basky ThilaganathanEric P. Bergh, Ramesha Papanna, Glenn J. Gardener, Andrew Carlin, Elisa Bevilacqua, Victorya A. Sakalo, Kirill V. Kostyukov, Mert O. Bahtiyar, Abigail Wilpers, Mark D. Kilby, Eleonor Tiblad, Dick Oepkes, Johanna M. Middeldorp, Monique C. Haak, Frans J.c.m. Klumper, Joost Akkermans, Femke Slaghekke

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The aim of this study was to investigate the management and outcome in the post-laser twin anemia polycythemia sequence (TAPS). Data of the international TAPS Registry, collected between 2014 and 2019, were used for this study. The primary outcomes were perinatal mortality and severe neonatal morbidity. Secondary outcomes included a risk factor analysis for perinatal mortality and severe neonatal morbidity. A total of 164 post-laser TAPS pregnancies were included, of which 92% (151/164) were diagnosed antenatally and 8% (13/164) postnatally. The median number of days between laser for TTTS and detection of TAPS was 14 (IQR: 7–28, range: 1–119). Antenatal management included expectant management in 43% (62/151), intrauterine transfusion with or without partial exchange transfusion in 29% (44/151), repeated laser surgery in 15% (24/151), selective feticide in 7% (11/151), delivery in 6% (9/151), and termination of pregnancy in 1% (1/151). The median gestational age (GA) at birth was 31.7 weeks (IQR: 28.6–33.7; range: 19.0–41.3). The perinatal mortality rate was 25% (83/327) for the total group, 37% (61/164) for donors, and 14% (22/163) for recipients (p < 0.001). Severe neonatal morbidity was detected in 40% (105/263) of the cohort and was similar for donors (43%; 51/118) and recipients (37%; 54/145), p = 0.568. Independent risk factors for spontaneous perinatal mortality were antenatal TAPS Stage 4 (OR = 3.4, 95%CI 1.4-26.0, p = 0.015), TAPS donor status (OR = 4.2, 95%CI 2.1–8.3, p < 0.001), and GA at birth (OR = 0.8, 95%CI 0.7–0.9, p = 0.001). Severe neonatal morbidity was significantly associated with GA at birth (OR = 1.5, 95%CI 1.3–1.7, p < 0.001). In conclusion, post-laser TAPS most often occurs within one month after laser for TTTS, but may develop up to 17 weeks after initial surgery. Management is mostly expectant, but varies greatly, highlighting the lack of consensus on the optimal treatment and heterogeneity of the condition. Perinatal outcome is poor, particularly due to the high rate of perinatal mortality in donor tw
Original languageEnglish
Article number1759
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jun 2020


  • monochorionic twins
  • twin anemia polycythemia sequence
  • TAPS
  • twin-twin transfusion syndrome
  • TTTS
  • laser surgery
  • management
  • perinatal mortality
  • fetal demise
  • neonatal morbidity


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