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What is TTTS (Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Syndrome)?

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Updated March 19, 2007

Question: What is TTTS (Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Syndrome)?
Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Sydrome is a disorder that impacts about ten percent of monozygotic (identical) twin pregnancies. Find more answers to Frequently Asked Questions About TTTS.
Answer: Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Syndrome is a disease of the placenta. During pregnancy, when a single placenta is shared by two twins, abnormal blood vessels may develop, essentially connecting the circulatory systems of the two individual babies. The result is an unequal exchange of blood flow. One fetus becomes a donor of blood to the other, creating serious complications that endanger the health of both babies.

TTTS can also be manifested when there is a discrepancy in the way the placenta functions for each twin. Placental asymmetry describes a situation where one twin (the donor) has a smaller share of the placenta.

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