Twin pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of perinatal and maternal complications, and early establishment of the chorionicity type defines this risk. In monochorionic (MC) pregnancies, the fetuses share the same placental mass and exhibit vascular anastomoses crossing the intertwin membrane, and the combination and pattern of anastomoses determine the primary clinical picture and occurrence of future complications.
Twin Anemia-Polycythemia Sequence (TAPS) was first described in 2006 after fetoscopic laser surgery in twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS) twins, and in 2007, the first spontaneous cases were reported, recognizing TAPS as an individualized vascular identity in fetofetal transfusion syndromes. There are two types of TAPS: spontaneous (3-5%) and iatrogenic or postlaser (2-16%). TAPS consists of small diameter arteriovenous anastomoses (<1 mm) and low-rate, small-caliber AA anastomoses in the absence of amniotic fluid discordances. There are certain antenatal and postnatal diagnostic criteria, which have progressively evolved over time. New, additional secondary markers have been proposed, and their reliability is being studied. The best screening protocol for TAPS in MC twins is still a matter of debate.
This review provides a survey of the relevant literature on the epidemiology, vascular pathophysiology, underlying hemodynamic factors that regulate mismatched vascular connections, and diagnostic criteria of this condition. The aim is to increase awareness and knowledge about this recently identified and frequently unrecognized and misdiagnosed pathology.
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