Twin Research

Guest Editorial

Birthweight Discordance in Multiple Pregnancy

Isaac Blicksteina1 c1 and Robin B. Kalisha2

a1 Dept. of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Kaplan Medical Center, Rehovot, and the Hadassah-Hebrew University School of Medicine, Jerusalem, Israel.

a2 Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology,Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York, NY.


This paper reviews several aspects of discordant growth in multiple pregnancies. Discordant growth is not a chance event and therefore several patterns can be discerned. About 75% of twins exhibit < 15% discordance (concordant), 20% are 15–25% (mildly) discordant, and about 5% are more than 25% (severely) discordant. Higher frequencies and increased severity are seen among triplets. Five observations regarding discordance became generally accepted: (a) not all discordant pairs are similar; (b) the larger the discordance level the greater is the risk for an adverse outcome; (c) discordant growth does not necessarily represent growth restriction; (d) a discordance level may have a different clinical implication in different gestational ages; and (e) the smaller fetuses in severely discordant pairs are at disproportionate risk for neonatal mortality. Mild discordance may represent a normal variation between sibs whereas severely discordant pairs often exhibit patterns of growth restriction. Not infrequently, discordance may represent an adaptation to the limited intrauterine space in order to increase gestational age.


c1 Address for correspondence: Isaac Blickstein, MD, Dept. of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Kaplan Medical Center, 76100 Rehovot, Israel.