Saturday, November 18, 2006

Sonographic diagnosis of conjoint twins:

Ultrasound Scan image (transverse section) of the conjoint twins sharing a common heart (such twins cannot survive). Images courtesy Dr. Durr-e-Sabih, Pakistan.

Post delivery view of the conjoint twins:

Conjoined twins or Siamese Twins (to the layman) are the result of incomplete division of the embryonic disc. The twins here are partially joint at either of the following points:
Head- called craniopagus
chest- thoracopagus
abdomen- omphalopagus
pelvis- ischiopagus
The incidence of such an anomaly occurring is very rare: 2 in 100000 births approximately. Fusion of the chest and abdomen is the commonest variety and is called thoraco-omphalopagus. It is associated with high mortality of the fetuses (most of the fetuses are born premature or still born). Ultrasound scan during pregnancy is very important to diagnose this condition.
Please click the link:
Here, I have presented ultrasound images of 2 different cases, with this anomaly.
Here, the twins are fused along the chest and abdomen with shared liver and heart. Such conjoined twins cannot survive. Diagnosis of conjoined twins is possible using ultrasound scan in the first trimester (first 3 months of pregnancy), but details are better visible in the 2nd trimester.
Dr. Joe Antony, MD.

free to view ultrasound image gallery>>
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