Accessible Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter February 16, 2010

Unequal but monozygous: a history of twin-twin transfusion syndrome

Michael Obladen
From the journal


Twin-twin transfusion is the major cause of mortality and morbidity in monochorionic twins. Its pathogenesis has been gradually elucidated over the last three centuries. Among obstetricians, there was a long-lasting controversy on the existence of placental anastomoses and whether or not to tie the placental end of the firstborn infant's cord. However, a twin pregnancy practically never could be excluded. Stalpart van der Wiel described a twin-twin vessel connection in 1687. Studies on interfetal anastomoses using injection of placental vessels were published by Smellie in 1752, Osiander in 1781, and Brachet in 1821. Different types of anastomoses, and their associated fetal disorders were classified by Schatz in a series of papers at the end of the 19th century. With the advent of ultrasound and laser techniques, prenatal diagnosis and treatment became available in the last decade of the 20th century.

Corresponding author: Prof. Dr. Michael Obladen Department of Neonatology Charité University Medicine Berlin Augustenburger Platz 1 13353 Berlin Germany Tel.: +49 30 (0)30 450566122 Fax: +49 30 (0)30 450566922

Received: 2009-11-13
Accepted: 2009-12-7
Published Online: 2010-02-16
Published Online: 2010-02-15
Published in Print: 2010-03-01

©2010 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin New York