Risk of spontaneous preterm birth in IVF-conceived twin pregnancies.

Research paper by Gabriele G Saccone, Fabrizio F Zullo, Amanda A Roman, Andrew A Ward, Giuseppe G Maruotti, Pasquale P Martinelli, Vincenzo V Berghella

Indexed on: 12 Sep '17Published on: 12 Sep '17Published in: The journal of maternal-fetal & neonatal medicine : the official journal of the European Association of Perinatal Medicine, the Federation of Asia and Oceania Perinatal Societies, the International Society of Perinatal Obstetricians


To compare the mean transvaginal ultrasound (TVU) cervical length (CL) at midtrimester in screening for preterm birth in in vitro (IVF)-conceived twin pregnancies versus spontaneously-conceived twin pregnancies.This was a retrospective cohort study. Potential study subjects were identified at the time of a routine second trimester fetal ultrasound exam at 18 0/7 to 23 6/7-week gestation. All women with twin diamniotic pregnancies screened with a single TVU CL for this trial were included. Mean TVU CLs were compared between IVF-conceived twin pregnancies and spontaneously-conceived twin pregnancies. The relationship of TVU CL with gestational age at delivery was assessed. Incidence of short TVU CL, defined as TVU CL ≤30 mm, was also calculated in the two groups. The primary outcome was the mean of TVU CL. Distribution of CL was determined and normality was examined in both groups Results: A total of 668 women with diamniotic twin pregnancies who underwent TVU CL screening between 18 0/6 and 23 6/7 weeks were included. 158 (23.7%) were IVF-conceived pregnancies, and 510 (76.3%) were spontaneously-conceived pregnancies. No women received progesterone, pessary, or cerclage for preterm birth prevention during pregnancy. The mean TVU CL was significantly lower in the IVF-conceived group (32.2 ± 10.5 mm) compared to the spontaneously-conceived group (34.1 ± 9.1 mm) (mean difference (MD) - 1.90 mm, 95%CI -3.72 to -0.08). The incidence of TVU CL ≤30 mm was 30.4% in the IVF-conceived group and 21.6% in the spontaneously-conceived group (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 1.59, 95%CI 1.06-2.37). IVF-conceived twins had a significantly higher risk of spontaneous preterm birth <34 weeks (32.9 versus 21.2%; aOR 1.83, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.23-2.71) and higher rate of delivery due to spontaneous onset of labor (64.5 versus 54.9%; aOR 1.50, 95%CI 1.03-2.17). For any given TVU CL measured between 18 0-7 and 23 6/7 weeks, gestational age at delivery for IVF-conceived twins was earlier by about 1 week on average compared with spontaneously-conceived twins.The higher rate of spontaneous preterm birth in IVF-conceived twin pregnancies is predicted by lower midtrimester TVU CL, as well as by the lower gestational age at birth per any given CL in the IVF-conceived compared to the spontaneously-conceived twin pregnancies.