Vanishing twin

A vanishing twin, also known as twin resorption, is a fetus in a multigestation pregnancy that dies in utero and is then partially or completely reabsorbed.[1][2] In some instances, the dead twin is compressed into a flattened, parchment-like state known as fetus papyraceus.[3]

Vanishing twin
Fetus papyraceus.JPG
A fetus papyraceus shown with its umbilical cord next to the placenta of its dichorionic diamniotic twin
SpecialtyObstetrics and gynaecology Edit this on Wikidata

Vanishing twins occur in up to one of every eight multifetus pregnancies and may not even be known in most cases.[4] "High resorption rates, which cannot be explained on the basis of the expected abortion rate, suggest intense fetal competition for space, nutrition, or other factors during early gestation, with frequent loss or resorption of the other twin(s)."[5]

In pregnancies achieved by in vitro fertilization, "it frequently happens that more than one amniotic sac can be seen in early pregnancy, whereas a few weeks later there is only one to be seen and the other has 'vanished'."[6]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Landy, H.J.; Weiner, S.; Corson, S.L.; Batzer, F.R. (1986). "The "vanishing twin": ultrasonographic assessment of fetal disappearance in the first trimester". Am J Obstet Gynecol. 155 (1): 14–19. doi:10.1016/0002-9378(86)90068-2. PMID 3524235.
  2. ^ "Public Education Pamphlets". Retrieved 21 December 2017.
  3. ^ Pelega, D.; Ferber, A.; Orvieto, R.; Bar-Hava, I. (1988). "Single intrauterine fetal death (fetus papyraceus) due to uterine trauma in a twin pregnancy". European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology. 80 (2): 175–176. doi:10.1016/S0301-2115(98)00128-6. PMID 9846663.
  4. ^ Boklage, C.E. (1995). "Chapter 4:The frequency and survivability of natural twin conceptions". In Keith, Louis G.; Papiernik, Emile; et al. (eds.). Multiple Pregnancy: Epidemiology, Gestation and Perinatal Outcome (1st ed.). New York: Taylor & Francis Group. pp. 41–2, 49. ISBN 978-1-85070-666-3. OCLC 32169252.
  5. ^ Sulak, L.E.; Dodson, M.G. (1986). "The Vanishing Twin: Pathologic Confirmation of an Ultrasonographic Phenomenon". Obstetrics & Gynecology. 68 (6): 811–815. PMID 3537876.
  6. ^ Jauniaux, E.; Elkazen, N.; Leroy, F.; Wilkin, P. (1988). "Clinical and morphologic aspects of the vanishing twin phenomenon". Obstetrics & Gynecology. 72 (4): 577–581. PMID 3047607.

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