Twin-Twin Transfusion Syndrome
National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.
It is possible that the main title of the report Twin-Twin Transfusion Syndrome is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.
- Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Syndrome
- Fetofetal Transfusion Syndrome
- Fetal Transfusion Syndrome
Twin-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS) is a rare disorder that sometimes occurs when women are pregnant with identical (monozygotic) twins. It is a rare disease of the placenta, the organ that joins the mother to her offspring and provides nourishment to the developing fetuses. During the development of identical twins, there are always blood vessels in the fetuses' shared placenta that connect their blood circulations (placental anastomoses). In most cases, the blood flows properly through these vessels. However, in twin-twin transfusion syndrome, the blood begins to flow unevenly, with one fetal twin receiving too much blood (recipient) and one receiving too little (donor). The recipient twin may experience heart failure due to continual strain on its heart and blood vessels (cardiovascular system). The donor twin, on the other hand, may experience life-threatening anemia, insufficient nutrition and oxygen due to its inadequate supply of blood. Such an imbalance in blood flow (i.e., twin-twin transfusion) can occur at any time during the pregnancy, including during delivery.
The effects of twin-twin transfusion syndrome can vary in severity from case to case, depending upon when during pregnancy the syndrome occurs, when it is diagnosed, and any treatment that may be given. The cause of this syndrome is not fully understood, although it is known that placental characteristics play an important role.
Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome Foundation
411 Longbeach Parkway
Bay Village, OH 44140
Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center
PO Box 8126
Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
Fetal Hope Foundation
9786 S Holland Street
Littleton, CO 80127
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This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc. ® (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be obtained for a small fee by visiting the NORD website. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational treatments (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, see http://www.rarediseases.org/search/rdblist.html