Fetal reduction for everyone?

Mark I. Evans, Jenifer Curtis, Shara M. Evans, David W. Britt

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Infertility treatments have benefited millions of couples to have their own children; however, the complication of multiple pregnancies with their increased morbidity and mortality has created significant problems. Fetal reduction (FR) was developed to ameliorate these issues. Over 30 years of publications show that FR has been highly successful in substantially reducing both mortality and morbidity. As with most radically new techniques, initial cases were in the “nothing to lose” category. With experience, indications liberalize, and quality of life issues increase as a proportion of cases. Overall risks for twins are not twice as those for singletons, but they are approximately 4- to 5-fold higher. In experienced hands, the combination of genetic testing by CVS followed by FR has made most multiples behave statistically as if they were originally the lower number. The use of microarray analysis to better determine fetal genetic health before deciding on which fetus(es) to keep or reduce further improves pediatric outcomes. With increasing experience and lower average starting numbers, the proportion of FRs to a singleton has increased considerably. Twins to a singleton FR now constitute an increasing proportion of cases performed. Data on such cases show improved outcomes, and we believe FR should be at least discussed and offered to all patients with a dichorionic twin pregnancy or higher. eSET is not a panacea because of the resultant monochorionic twins.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76-87
Number of pages12
JournalBest Practice and Research in Clinical Obstetrics and Gynaecology
StatePublished - Nov 2022


  • Amniocentesis
  • CVS
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Fetal reduction
  • Multiple pregnancy
  • Twins


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