Document Detail

Selective reduction.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  12696789     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Multifetal pregnancy reduction continues to be controversial. Attitudes about MFPR have not, in our experience, followed a simple "pro-choice/pro-life" dichotomy. As far back as the mid to late 1980s, opinions about the subject were varied. Even then, when much less was known about the subject, opinions did not always parallel the usual pro-choice/theological boundaries. We believe that the real debate over the next 5 to 10 years will not be whether or not MFPR should be performed with triplets or more. The fact is that MFPR does improve those outcomes. A serious debate will emerge over whether or not it is appropriate to offer MFPR routinely for twins, even natural ones, for whom the outcome is commonly considered "good enough." Our data suggest that reduction of twins to a singleton improves the outcome of the remaining fetus. No consensus on appropriateness of routine 2-1 reductions is ever likely to emerge. The ethical issues surrounding MFPR will always be controversial. Over the years, much has been written on the subject. Opinions will always vary from outraged condemnation to complete acceptance. No short paragraph could do justice to the subject other than to state that most proponents do not believe this is a frivolous procedure but do believe in the principle of proportionality ie, therapy to achieve the most good for the least harm). Over the past 15 years, MFPR has become a well-established and integral part of infertility therapy and attempts to deal with the sequelae of aggressive infertility management. In the mid 1980s, the risks and benefits of the procedure could only be guessed. We now have clear and precise data on the risks and benefits of the procedure and an understanding that the risks increase substantially with the starting and finishing number of fetuses in multifetal pregnancies. The collaborative loss rate numbers (ie, 4.5% for triplets, 8% for quadruplets. 11% for quintuplets, and 15% for sextuplets or more) seem reasonable to present to patients for the procedure performed by an experienced operator. Our experiences and anecdotal experiences from other groups suggest that less experienced operators have worse outcomes. Pregnancy loss is not the only poor outcome. The other main issue with which to be concerned is very early premature delivery, where there is an increasing rate of poor outcomes correlated with the starting number. The finishing numbers are also critical, with twins having the best outcomes for cases starting with three or more. Triplets and singletons do not do as well. We hope that MFPR will become obsolete as better control of ovulation agents and assisted reproductive technologies make multifetal pregnancies uncommon.
Mark I Evans; Eric L Krivchenia; Shari E Gelber; Ronald J Wapner
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Clinics in perinatology     Volume:  30     ISSN:  0095-5108     ISO Abbreviation:  Clin Perinatol     Publication Date:  2003 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2003-04-16     Completed Date:  2003-05-01     Revised Date:  2004-11-17    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7501306     Medline TA:  Clin Perinatol     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  103-11     Citation Subset:  E; IM    
Institute for Genetics and Fetal Medicine, St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center, 1000 10th Avenue, Suite 11A-1, New York, NY 10019, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Pregnancy Reduction, Multifetal* / adverse effects,  ethics

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